New York Bans Plastic Bags Taking One Step Away from Islands of Plastic
Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, recently announced a statewide law banning all single-use plastic bags. Every year, the state consumes about 23 billion plastics bags. 50% of all these used plastic bags are then found in landfills, waterways, and in the cities. That number will be affected considering the population of the state as the results are immediately being seen as New York Bans Plastic Bags.
To prevent this growing problem, all single-use plastic bags are no longer allowed throughout the state of New York
A report noted that in the entire state of New York, plastic bags are normally seen and have become part of everyday sight. They are everywhere—including streets, trees, and sewage. They are found floating on waterways and they pose a threat to environmental health.
These plastic bags litter the streets and have become an eyesore, clogging drainages and are unsightly to behold. Plastic bags are a danger not just to the environment but to the people, as they carry toxins that affects marine life, which later trickles down to humans.
It is also noted that single-use plastic bags, or disposable bags, are a danger to the communities of New York.
New York is not the first state to have issued a ban on single-use plastic bags. The first two states that issued the same ban are California and Hawaii.
As part of this statewide effort to curb plastic bag wastes, the Department of Environmental Conservation will take a huge responsibility in monitoring this law.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will also seek to minimize the impact of this law against low-income families. Many people use plastic bags because they are cheap. Replacing them means there will be an added cost for using paper or biodegradable plastics.
As part of this effort, counties and cities have to impose a 5-cent charge for every plastic bag use. The five cents will go to the coffers of the Department of Environmental Conservation, which will be used to fund conservation efforts and distribution of reusable bags.
The rough estimate of the Environmental Protection Agency is that 80% of the plastic bag wastes in the oceans are from plastic bags used on land.
Studies show that 20 to 30 years from now, the total weight of all plastics found in the ocean will be heavier than the weight of all fishes combined. This is going to be catastrophic, as fish eat the plastics, and these small fish are then eaten by larger ones. It has also been reported that many brands of Sea Salt sold in stores as consumable food products now contain micro-plastics. Time to start only using Himalayan salts!
The result of this is that humans will consume these toxic wastes, and can give birth to a new global crisis of food poisoning, or a development of new diseases.
Back in 2014, the estimate is that 100 billion single-use plastic bags are consumed per year in the United States. On average, an American family uses about 1,500 pieces of single-use plastic bags each year. Almost all of these plastic bags are never recycled, and they are put in the dump, and they end up in our oceans.
New York is the fourth most populous state in the country, and it is high-time that a law like this is put into place. Now, it joins California and Hawaii in banning single-use plastic bags in an effort to curb the accumulation of this non-biodegradable waste.
The three states have a combined population of 60 million people, which comprises about 18% of the entire population in the United States.
The efforts of these three states to ban single-use plastic bags, along with the efforts of the Department of Environmental Conservation, will surely make an impact to the country and of course the oceans of the world. New York, in particular, will expect a reduction of plastics stuck on trees, floating on waters, and accumulating in sewage.