Major companies warn the consequences will be severe if New York lawmakers pass legislation that would practically end single-use plastic containers in the state.

Lawmakers in the Senate have passed the Packaging and Recycling Infrastructure Act and is likely Governor Kathy Hochul will sign it into law. It currently awaits being sent to the governor.

The concept of the bill aims to limit single-use plastic packaging and while most people would think it only would affect takeaway storage containers, the ramifications of the bill go much deeper.

Getty Images
Getty Images

This bill targets all types of plastics, including potato chip bags, wrappers, cream cheese containers - anything that you would usually discard once empty.

Also, food for thought, what about sandwich bags, Tupperware, and cling-wrap?

The bill targets companies that make at least $5 million annually to half their reliance on plastic packaging over the next 12 years. In addition, the legislation would prohibit containers using 17 chemicals, which are deemed toxic, from being used in such packaging.

Industry titans like Kraft-Heinz say if the bill goes ahead, they would no longer be able to sell a majority of their products in New York State. The company sent a memo to lawmakers earlier this week that implored them to rethink their plans.

Kraft Heinz Revenue Drops In 2nd Quarter Despite Price Hikes
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Should it go through, the company would be forced to yank items like their Philadelphia Cream Cheese, condiments, Lunchables, cheese slices, and more from shelves statewide. That, they say, poses a severe risk to the state's food supply.

The company also accused lawmakers of considering legislation that "does not sufficiently address key concerns related to packaging, recycling and food safety." In all, they called the bill unrealistic while critics say it will damage the state economy.

North Country Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, who voted against the measure when it was in Ways and Means, said in an issued statement, "This is a ridiculous bill which continues to make doing business in New York State a nightmare."

In all, while critics understand the intentions behind the Packaging and Recycling Infrastructure Act, they say it won't resolve the issue at hand. Plastic is a pollutant, a fact that's been proven through countless studies.

Read More: Why Are New Yorkers Being Pressured into "Slow Mow Summer"?

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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

What makes the matter worse is the irresponsible disposal of these single-use containers, such as littering. Plastic doesn't decompose like other containers, like cardboard. Once things like plastic bottles or bags make it to the landfill, they can take decades to centuries to break down completely.

Claims the state wastes $150 million a year on plastic waste disposal was one of the main arguments for the bill's passage.

In the end, critics say the bill is a win for environmentalists - and no one else. They say it will harm business, drive up food prices, and cause even more food waste due to improper storage.

Let's be real, a sandwich bag would help a sliced tomato last longer than packaging made from hemp. While it is imperative that we do reduce waste, this law seems to be a lofty overreach that slaps of "you have to pass it to find out what's in it."

The Affordable Care Act also looked good on paper to supporters when it was first passed and now look at where we are with insurance rates, doctor shortages, skyrocketing prescription costs, hospital consolidations, and other afflictions in our healthcare system.

Both bills could have benefitted from more research and scrutiny to ensure the benefits far outweighed the consequences. But it seems lawmakers aren't willing to learn from their past mistakes, as if they hope that their next amazing idea will go differently.

So, we'll just have to wait and see what chaos this new legislation brings.

What are your thoughts? Let us know by messaging us directly via the station app.

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