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State lawmakers move closer to banning single-use plastics

Lynette Adams
Created: December 13, 2019 08:54 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — It seems like one of the biggest New Year's resolutions for state lawmakers: a ban, or least reduction, of single-use plastics in New York.

Ahead of the legislative session starting in January, legislators in both the Assembly and Senate have proposed measures to limit the number of single-use plastics, like plastic forks and spoons and shampoo bottles in hotels.

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This comes on the heels of nationwide studies, like one from the Environmental Protection Agency, which shows these items clutter landfills. The EPA study found less than 10% of plastic waste is recycled. 

Even countries like China that would take the waste have limited imports except for the highest quality plastics.

The EPA says only 56% of U.S. plastics are accepted by places like Vietnam and Malaysia. If the plastic waste cannot be melted and re-used, it ends up in landfills.    

Even countries, like China that would take the waste have limited imports except for the highest quality plastics.

Lawmakers are hoping the momentum from the ban on plastic bags will help move some new bills forward, and they’ll end up on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk in 2020. However, it may not be an easy fight. It took New York years to ban plastic bags

The plastics industry is powerful, and its advocates already point to 1,500 jobs at risk at three upstate factories that make the plastic referred to colloquially as Styrofoam.


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