Single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned statewide in New York from March 2020 under a deal reached as part of the state’s 175.5 billion budget announced Sunday. The news comes less than a week after a bill was introduced proposing to ban fur sales by 2021, signaling that the state is willing to become more environment and animal friendly.

Several exceptions apply, including plastic bags for newspapers, produce or meat, or take-out. Individual counties will have the option of charging 5 cents for paper bags, with 2 cents going to local governments and 3 cents to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.

The legislation, part of the Transportation, Economic Development, and Environmental Conservation budget bill, passed in the Assembly 100 to 42, and Senate 39 to 22, reported Bloomberg, citing unofficial vote tallies.

New York will be the third US state to ban plastic bags, following Hawaii and California, whose bans have been in place since 2016. Only 9 percent of plastic goods were recycled in 2015, according to the latest data by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

 

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