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Could you live without plastic bags?

Posted at 5:32 PM, Mar 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 04:58:34-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — How many times do you visit a grocery store per week? Once? Twice? If you use the plastic bags, soon you may not be able to anymore.

On Saturday in Delaware Park, Assemblyman Sean Ryan discussed the proposal within the 2020 New York state budget that would ban plastic bag use at stores and restaurants in an effort to protect the environment.

“We need to focus on making reusable bags part of our daily life," Ryan said. "Any plastic bag that you use in your lifetime will be around thousands of years from now."

If you do not bring a reusable bag, retailers and grocery stores would be forced to charge five cents per paper bag used with your purchase.

“That fee would not go to the retailer and it would not go to the state’s general fund, it will go straight to the state’s environmental protection fund," Ryan said. That fund would be created via the proposal.

Ryan says he predicts considerable blowback from grocery and retail lobbyists, who expect a cut of that aforementioned fee.

In January, Governor Cuomo announced that a plastic bag ban would be included in the state budget. He reiterated his commitment to that ban Sunday during a press event on Long Island.

"[Suffolk County's] plastic bag ban is working," Cuomo said, referencing the Long Island county that has banned single-use plastic bags. "Why don't we do that statewide?"

The governor and the legislature must have a spending plan in place by April 1.