Environmentalists Urge Governor Cuomo to Keep His Promise to Address Plastic Bag Pollution

PRESS RELEASE

(download PDF of press release, PDF of  letter)

For Immediate Release:                                            

December 11, 2017

 

For More Information Contact:

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, 516-390-7150,  631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org

Jennie R. Romer, Esq., Founder of plasticbaglaws.org and coordinator of Bag It NYC coalition, 510-685-1575 (mobile), jennie@plasticbaglaws.org

Eric Goldstein, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, 212-727-4452, egoldstein@nrdc.org

 

Environmentalists Urge Governor Cuomo to Keep His Promise to Address Plastic Bag Pollution

70+ Environmental, Good Government, Environmental Justice, and Community Groups are Urging New York State to Move Forward with Comprehensive BYOBag Policy

New York, NY - After overturning NYC’s “Bring Your Own Bag” Bill, which would have placed a 5 cent fee on plastic and paper bags starting in February, Governor Cuomo formed a Plastic Bag Task Force to create a state-wide plastic bag policy recommendation by the end of this year. With only weeks left of 2017, environmental and environmental justice groups have joined good government and community groups in urging Governor Cuomo and the Plastic Bag Task Force to release  a plastic reduction policy recommendation by the end of the year and to ensure this policy is passed in next year’s budget.

73 groups have sent a letter to Governor Cuomo and the Task Force Members detailing the importance of NYS moving forward with a policy that will be successful in creating lasting behavior change for consumers, taking into account lessons-learned from other municipalities that have already enacted plastic bag reduction policies. The groups are pushing for legislation that would either place a fee on both plastic and paper bags, or ban thin plastic bags and place a fee on all other bags (including paper), to encourage reusable bag use. They also argue that a portion of any fee collected should be used for environmental projects.

The Task Force, which includes the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committees as well as the Association of  Counties, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Food Industry Alliance and NY League of Conservation Voters, has met several times but has not yet announced a plastic bag reduction policy recommendation. Groups from Montauk to Buffalo have identified concerns that plastic bag pollution is a blight on communities, a burden on taxpayers, and an unnecessary short-term convenience that has long lasting environmental consequences. They are pushing New York State to ensure that a comprehensive, meaningful plastic bag reduction policy is passed in 2018.

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 photo credit: Dorothee Pierrard

photo credit: Dorothee Pierrard

Jennie Romer