“We urge you to take immediate action to reduce litter and the fossil fuels that create them, save tax dollars, and protect the environment and wildlife,” the letter stated.
The groups — including the New York Public Interest Research Group, Environmental Advocates, the Waterkeeper Alliance and the Newtown Creek Alliance — warn that plastic shopping bags are a “global problem” that harm wildlife and are “ever-present in waterways, along streets and in oceans and lakes.”
The letter was sent to Cuomo days after he indicated he was considering such a move for the state. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
They urged the state to adopt measures similar to those enacted by California, which banned the thin plastic bags frequently used by supermarkets and placed a minimum 10-cent fee on paper and thicker plastic bags.
“It’s clear that we need to address the real environmental concerns caused by the proliferation of plastic bags, and a ban is one of the options we’re reviewing,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said on Monday.
State lawmakers — especially the GOP-controlled Senate — remain reluctant, however, to enact such a ban.
Environmental groups signed a letter to Cuomo and legislative leaders Friday urging them “to take immediate action to reduce litter and the fossil fuels that create them, save tax dollars, and protect the environment and wildlife.” (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Instead of making specific recommendations, however, the task force only outlined options, which also included stronger enforcement of existing laws to reduce plastic bag waste, a new fee on the bags and a requirement that bag manufacturers fund a program to collect and recycle them.
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