Need to Know

New York Plastic Bag Task Force Releases Report Without Recommendation

The committee took no stance on the issue of a potential plastic bag fee in New York City.

The task force created by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to come up with a statewide approach to the abundance of plastic bags released a report outlining seven different possible solutions. However, no recommendation was given, and any next steps are unclear.

Gov. Cuomo created the task force after signing a law that prevented New York City from charging a fee for plastic shopping bags. The law was signed one day before a fee proposed by the New York City Council was to go into effect.

Cuomo said the task force was convened to develop a solution that could work across the entire state. New York City Council could attempt to pass a new bag fee, but there is no guarantee that the state government wouldn’t block it once again.

New York Daily News has more information:

It’s been nearly a year since Gov. Cuomo signed the trashiest law to hit this state in quite some time, one barring New York City, and only New York City, from charging a modest price for shopping bags, a day before a City Council-passed fee was set to go into effect.

Councilman Brad Lander led the local charge, a carefully crafted attempt to reduce, as many cities have, the hard-to-recycle thin plastic bags that litter streets, clog trains and get caught in trees.

New Yorkers would have been free to keep using them, but encouraged, via a five-cent-per-bag fee, to carry reusables. Sane and sound, and with reusable bag giveaways to take the edge off.

Then Albany put its big, smelly foot down to say no way. The affront to the city’s right to rule itself was cooked up by Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder, then signed by the governor, who, in typical gubernatorial fashion, claimed he was all for attacking the problem — but just wanted to do it right.

Read the full story here:

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