UTICA - State Sen. Joseph Griffo of Rome is asking Governor Cuomo to delay the implementation of the ban until the state's COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration has been lifted.
“While I recognize the importance of continuing to look at ways to protect our environment, I am urging the Governor to delay implementation of this ban until the coronavirus pandemic emergency has ended and not when a court says that the state may do so,” Griffo said in a press release. “I am concerned that, at a time when we should be focused on hygiene and health, requiring the public to bring bags back and forth between stores and their homes could lead to potential contamination and health concerns. By delaying the implementation of the ban, we can continue to protect New Yorkers from unnecessary and additional risks during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Griffo says he is urging stores to offer alternative options for bags at no cost to shoppers, and praised local county governments for not imposing a fee on bags.
Also, New York’s never-enforced ban on single-use plastic bags has survived a lawsuit lodged by a plastic bag manufacturer and convenience store owners, but a state judge ruled Thursday that state regulators went too far by allowing stores to hand out thicker plastic bags one day.
A law in New York went into effect March 1 that bans many types of businesses from using the thin plastic bags that have been clogging up landfills, getting tangled in trees and accumulating in lakes and seas. But the Department of Environmental Conservation agreed to delay enforcement of the law as the agency fought to get state courts to toss out the lawsuit. State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly ordered New York in a decision released Thursday to rules allowing thicker plastic bags.