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N.Y. Lawmakers: Statewide Ban On Plastic Bags Likely

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A ban on plastic bags in New York seems to be in the bag.

State lawmakers said Thursday they've come to an agreement that will ban plastic bags statewide, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported. 

The Amish Market on Ninth Avenue goes through about 800 plastic bags per day, and the manager said that's even less than what customers used to use before reusable bags became en vogue.

"They're bringing their own bags and buying the bags we provide them," market manager Josh Ceylan said.

Plastic Shopping Bags
Photo Credit Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

But in a smaller deli across the street, customers rarely bring their own.

"Most of the people like to take a plastic bag," worker Sachem Choudhery said.

Maybe not for long. State Sen. Todd Kaminsky said a ban on plastic bags will be included in the state budget due April 1.

"We have a framework in place, in principal," Kaminsky said.

New Yorkers have all kinds of opinions.

"It's about time, right," said Marco Santos of Hells Kitchen.

"I'm all for the environment and I believe in global warming and that kind of stuff, but this stuff is a little petty. I don't believe it's gonna work," Kevin Clarke said.

Lawmakers say this plan is different from proposals we've seen in the past because there won't be a fee for plastic bags. This time they're just banned altogether.

"The idea is to go not from plastic to paper but from plastic to reusable," said Kaminsky, a Democrat who represents Long Island's South Shore.

Food deliveries and carry-out will be exempt from the statewide ban, lawmakers said. While counties and municipalities will have the option for a 5-cent fee on paper bags.

"At the county level, 60 percent of the paper bag fee would go to the state and 40 percent would remain with the county to help buy reusable bags and deal with the plastic pollution," Kaminsky said. "On the local level, the 5 cents would be kept by the retailer."

MORECuomo To Propose Ban On Plastic Bags In Upcoming Budget

In response to the announcement from lawmakers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement: "For far too long these bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways and that's why I proposed a ban in this year's budget."

"There's so much plastic waste, cutlery, napkins wrapped in more plastic in a plastic bag with a plastic lunch box. It's a waste," said Sean MacPherson of Hells Kitchen.

If all goes according to plan, the ban will take effect next March.

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