New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants the Empire State to become the latest in the nation to outright ban plastic bags. He included a proposal to ban the single-use bags in his 2019 executive budget. If his plan is successful, New York would become the second state to ban plastic bags.
Gov. Cuomo specifically mentioned a lack of federal leadership on environmental issues as one reason he is seeking a statewide ban on bags, which are not biodegradable and pollute the environment, including the oceans. “While the federal government is taking our environmental progress backwards and selling out our communities to polluters and oil companies, in New York we are moving forward with the nation’s strongest environmental policies and doing everything in our power to protect our natural resources for future generations,” he said in a statement.
His rhetoric and ideas mirror other conversations happening across sectors and issues, from healthcare to daylight saving time, about how states and federal regulators can choose to work together—or may end up at legislative odds based on regional ideals and what voters demand.
This isn’t the first time Gov. Cuomo has taken aim at plastic bags. And already, plenty of cities have instituted bans on various single-use plastic products, such as disposable straws and bags. After numerous cities across the Golden State banned plastic bags, California voters passed a statewide ban on plastic bags in 2016.
Some companies have also pledged to do away with plastic shopping bags as well as single-use plastic packaging, such as Ikea’s promise to ditch disposable plastic in its stores by 2020, and grocery giant Kroger’s plan to get rid of plastic bags in its stores by 2025.