Plastic bag ban approved in New York State budget

It’s the wind that carries them. They skim along sidewalks, stick in trees, and speckle the blacktop. Like a tumbleweed in the west, plastic bags have become an unwelcome staple of New York City’s aesthetic.

But they may not plague these city streets much longer.

New York State lawmakers passed a bill in early April outlawing the majority of single-use plastic bags across the entire state of New York. They are hoping the ban will will help not only to limit the flow of litter into streets, streams and oceanfront, but also that it will minimize the greenhouse emissions caused by their production.

Many New Yorkers were pleased with the announcement, and some hope it leads both lawmakers and residents to think about other steps toward a more sustainable future.

There are a few exemptions to the ban, including bags for newspapers, restaurant takeout bags and bags used for garments.

The ban will go into effect in March of 2020.