New York Gov. Cuomo to propose ban on single-use plastic bags in next state budget

Paper or plastic?

If New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets his way, shoppers in the Empire State won’t have the second option soon.

Cuomo, a Democrat, proposed on Sunday a ban on single-use plastic bags as part of his upcoming executive budget.

He called the bag ban a "bold action" that would "create a cleaner and greener New York for all."

Cuomo added that there would be exceptions to any ban in an effort to not impact lower-income populations and that distribution of reusable bags would be a part of that same effort.

He had first proposed a ban last April, after he and lawmakers blocked a proposed plastic bag fee from going into effect in New York City in 2017.

Cuomo is scheduled to release his executive budget on Tuesday. A final budget in negotiation with the state Legislature is supposed to be passed by April 1.


New York State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, however, has said that a ban on plastic bags is too prohibitive and that instead a nominal fee about 5 cents would encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags. The 5 cents per plastic ban would be put into an environmental fund.

"There are times when you will need a bag," Fahy told the Albany Times-Union. "You need that flexibility."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.