Thanks to Cuomo and a legislature now totally controlled by Democrats, shopping in New York just became a whole lot more inconvenient, and precious jobs are at risk.
As part of the state’s $175 billion budget deal, New York legislators reached a deal to include the Governor’s plastic bag ban. The ban – set to be launched in March of 2020 – represents a special interest-driven government overreach that will harm New Yorkers and the state economy.
On top of that, a new tax on paper bags is included. Most of the money from that tax will go to the state, to serve the Environmental Protection Fund.
After voting for this garbage, New York legislators should walk around wearing paper bags on their heads.
Democratic law makers in the Senate and the Assembly are praising the Governor’s recommendation, citing its environmental benefits. While this sounds nice in a stump speech, evidence that a plastic bag ban is beneficial for the environment is sparse. When compared to a single-use plastic bag, multi-use bags, like paper and cotton bags, require more resources and increased carbon emissions to be produced. Denmark’s Ministry of Environment and Food determined that in order for a polypropylene bag (the most common form of reusable bag) to balance its harmful environmental impact with that of a single-use plastic bag it needs to be reused 37 times. Even more ridiculous, a paper bag would need to be reused 43 time and a cotton bag over 7,100 times to prove more environmentally friendly than a single-use plastic bag.
Reusable bags also threaten the health and safety of consumers. A University of Arizona study warned that reusable bags perpetuate cross-contamination and foodborne illnesses in consumers. To avoid these risks the Department of Health and Human Services encourages consumers to wash their bags often. Unfortunately for the well-being of New Yorkers, this is a practice only adopted by 3 percent of reusable bag users, and another added hurdle for consumers in Albany’s scheme.
In addition to its impact on the health of New Yorkers, Cuomo’s ban takes a shot at the New York economy. New York’s plastic industry employs 32,200 workers, statewide, making it the tenth largest in the nation. Most directly impacted by the ban would be the 1,500 workers and the 30 companies that manufacture plastic bags in the state.
The economic impact of Cuomo’s bag ban does not stop there. Rather, the ban would likely harm New York’s small business community. Unlike before, small-businesses will have to shell out more in overhead cost for paper bags. Leaving no rectification mechanism for independent stores, the provision forces merchants to shoulder the state mandated increased cost of business or pass it onto consumers. Greg Biryla, the state director of National Federation of Independent Business commented, “Independent businesses are simply not able to absorb and adjust to new mandated costs the same as their big-box competitors.”
The ban is just one more attack from Albany on everyday New Yorkers. Unfortunately, now ballooning budgets, new taxes, increased deficits, and Cuomo’s micromanaging agenda is just the “New York State of Mind.”