Governor Cuomo is proposing a ban on plastic bags that would extend to all of New York State, including Central New York.

Plastics are a double-edged sword: they have allowed us to make advances in medicine, safety, and driven down the costs of many items. At the same time, plastics are polluting our waterways and oceans, piling up in landfills, and even making their way into our bloodstream, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Governor Cuomo is proposing legislation that will ban the plastic bags that we get by the dozen from Walmart or Hannaford: the grocery bag. Scientific data says these bags - which are basically everywhere - take anywhere from 500-1000 years to degrade in a landfill. That's a long time.

According to the proposal: "Placing a ban on plastic carryout bags will result in a significant reduction of waste, lessening the environmental impacts. New York City alone estimates they would save $12.5 million in disposal costs by reducing the number of disposable bags used. These costs do not include the significant cleanup costs to remove this plastic through litter collection programs and beach and ocean cleanup efforts."

Cuomo's proposal would exempt dry cleaning bags, and plastic bags that are necessary for food safety - so you can still wrap your raw chicken in a plastic bag.

Obviously, it's a lot cheaper - and more convenient - for stores to hand out plastic bags rather than paper but the consequences to our planet are massive.
According to the Ocean Conservancy, an organization committed to reversing the trend of increasing plastic waste in the planet's oceans, plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species, that mistake plastic for food - which is very harmful. Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments. 

What do you think about this proposed ban? Could you get by without plastic bags? 

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