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New York Task Forces Issues Recommendations To Reduce Plastic Bag Waste

A New York task force focused on combatting pollution caused by single-use plastic bags has submitted recommendations to Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers.

Thereport announced Saturday by New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says New Yorkers use 23 billion plastic bags annually and that a significant number of those bags end up in the environment.

Recommendations include strengthening recycling programs and enforcing an existing law that seeks to mitigate plastic bag waste. Other recommendations include plastic bag fees, requiring manufacturers to implement collection and recycling programs, banning single-use bags, or a hybrid program that bans plastic bags and places a fee on “allowable alternatives” such as paper bags.

Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, responded to the report on Saturday, saying there are two acceptable solutions: “a fee on both plastic and paper bags or a hybrid model that bans plastic bags and institutes a fee on paper.”

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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