Upcoming plastic bag ban met with mixed reactions

Local News

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released its final plastic bag regulations for implementation recently.

As NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca shows us, they’re drawing some criticism from environmentalists and those in the plastic bag industry alike.

The New York State Plastic Bag Waste Reduction Act goes into effect next month.

And, the DEC has unveiled their regulations to support the plastic bag ban law.
Plastic bags thinner than 10 mils are prohibited under the regs.

((Basil Seggos, NYS DEC Commissioner))
We settled on what’s called a 10 mil thickness. And currently there are no manufacturers of plastic bags at the 10 mil thickness.

The DEC Comissioner says that that thickness or greater is “cost-prohibitive” for stores.

But, some environmentalists have said that the DEC shouldn’t have made regulations to begin with and opens up more confusion.

((Peter Iwanowicz, Environmental Advocates of New York Executive Director))
It certainly appears to have overstepped their legal authority, and they should have just allowed the law to be implemented and then if they needed to make changes come back to the legislature.

((Corina Cappabianca, NYS Capitol Correspondent))
In a statement the Executive Director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance criticized the DEC’s regs saying:

“The DEC is barreling ahead with an ill-conceived approach that goes too far, too fast and fails to take into consideration repeated requests for a pragmatic compromise.”

The ARPBA also says:

“The state has refused to heed the concerns of retailers and shoppers who say there’s been insufficient outreach to explain the ban and also are worried about a looming paper bag shortage and questionable availability of reusable bags from China due to supply chain disruptions.”

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