Catskill Mountainkeeper Supports Governor Cuomo’s Call for a Ban on Single Use Plastic Bags, Calls for Fees on Other Single Use Bags
LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY – Sunday afternoon, Governor Cuomo announced his commitment to a ban on single use plastic bags in the executive budget as well as a pledge to expand the state’s bottle deposit laws.
Catskill Mountainkeeper issued the following response, attributable to Katherine Nadeau, Deputy Director:
Plastic pollution poisons our environment. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to banning plastic bags and expanding the Bottle Bill puts our state on the path to protect wildlife and water quality while addressing an ongoing litter issue. But if New York bans single use plastic bags without putting a fee on other single use bags, we’d be bunting when we need a grand slam.
Catskill Mountainkeeper conducts roadside cleanups, and the bulk of litter we gather is plastic. Thin-film plastic bags are abundant, and they never decompose or biodegrade. Banning most single-use bags is exactly what New York needs to do. But if we do so without placing a fee on other single-use bags, we’re trading one problem for another. While Governor Cuomo didn’t mention a fee in his press statement, we’re counting on him to propose one in his executive budget.
Further, while drink bottles without a five-cent deposit litter our roadways and hiking trails, we rarely find redeemable bottles. Applying the five-cent deposit to additional beverages will help prevent litter, and is exactly what the Catskiills need. We applaud Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expanding our bottle redemption laws.