Cuomo budget proposal expands bottle bill, bans plastic bags


A bottle bill expansion and a ban on plastic bags are included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2019 Executive Budget.

Under the expanded bottle bill, almost all non-alcoholic drink containers would be eligible for 5-cent redemption. Legislation would also ban all single-use plastic bags.

"While the federal government is taking our environmental progress backwards and selling out our communities to polluters and oil companies, in New York we are moving forward with the nation's strongest environmental policies and doing everything in our power to protect our natural resources for future generations," Gov. Cuomo said. "These bold actions to ban plastic bags and promote recycling will reduce litter in our communities, protect our water and create a cleaner and greener New York for all."

The expanded bill would allow for redemption of sports and energy drink bottles, fruit and vegetable beverages, and ready-to-drink coffees and teas. It would include some exceptions for bottles containing dairy milk, milk substitutes, infant formula, syrups and flavorings, medical prescriptions and dietary supplements.

The governor will also direct DEC to study how the bill could be expanded to include wine and liquor bottles.

Gov. Cuomo also proposes a statewide prohibition on plastic bags, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with production and disposal. DEC will work with stakeholders and community leaders to make sure this initiative does not disproportionately impact low and moderate income and environmental justice communities, through the distribution of reusable bags and exemptions where appropriate.

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