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A05753 Summary:

SPONSOREnglebright (MS)
COSPNSRSimon, Ortiz, Carroll, Lavine, Lifton, Thiele, Abinanti, De La Rosa, Lupardo, Steck, Hyndman, Seawright, Fahy, Rosenthal L, Gottfried, Peoples-Stokes, Jaffee, Colton, Solages, Epstein, Taylor, Paulin, Arroyo, Glick, Santabarbara, Williams, Galef, Quart, Woerner, Magnarelli, Rozic, Barron, Blake, D'Urso, Otis, Mosley, Niou, Dinowitz, Richardson, Barrett, Stirpe, Ryan, Griffin, McDonald, Reyes
MLTSPNSRBronson, Buchwald, Cymbrowitz, McDonough, Montesano
Add Art 27 Title 28 §§27-2801 - 27-2806, En Con L; amd §63, ABC L; amd §92-s, St Fin L
Establishes guidelines for carryout bag waste reduction.
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A05753 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Englebright (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, the alcoholic beverage control law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing guidelines for carryout bag waste reduction   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To reduce plastic waste and pollution by banning the provision of plas- tic carryout bags and placing a ten-cent fee on paper carryout bags and reusable grocery bags, with the revenue directed to the state Environ- mental Protection Fund.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 adds a new title 28 to Article 27 of the environmental conser- vation law. Section 27-2801: Definitions. Section 27-2802: Charges. Establishes a fee of no less than ten cents on paper carryout bags and reusable grocery bags, with a maximum fee of twenty-five cents for paper carryout bags. Provides for stores to retain twenty percent of all such fees, with eighty percent returned to the state for deposit in the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Funds so deposited in the EPF shall be made available to localities for the purpose of education for decreasing plastic pollution, cleaning up roads, shorelines, and waterways, and purchasing and distributing reus- able bags, with an emphasis on distribution to low and fixed-income communities. No such fee shall be charged to anyone using SNAP or WIC as full or partial payment. Section 27-2803: Additional obligations for stores. Prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags to customers. Requires posting of signage by stores to notify customers of the provisions of this title. Allows for the distribution of free reusable bags during limited dura- tion promotional events not exceeding fourteen days per year. Requires paper carryout bags to contain a minimum of forty percent post-consumer recycled content. Section 27-2804: Deposit and disposition of fees. Outlines the process for stores to collect and remit fees. Section 27-2805: Violations. Establishes that any retailer violating provisions of this title shall receive a warning notice for the first violation, a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars for the second violation, and five hundred dollars for each subsequent violation in the same calendar year. Provides for enforcement of this title by the Departments of Environmental Conservation, Agriculture and Markets, and Health, the State Attorney General, and any County, City, Town, or Village. Section 27-2806: Preemption of local law. Provides that any local rules or ordinances related to carryout bags are preempted by this article, with the exception of those implementing a higher fee for carryout bags or reusable grocery bags, or a ban on additional types of carryout bags. Section 2 and 3 amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law to allow for the sale of carryout bags and reusable grocery bags by licensees. Section 4 amends the State Finance Law to ensure fees collected under this title are credited to the Environmental Protection Fund. Section 5 establishes that this act shall take effect nine months after it shall have become a law.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):   JUSTIFICATION: In 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a New York State Plastic Bag Task Force, saying "the costly and negative impact of plastic bags on New York's natural resources is a statewide issue that demands a statewide solution." Every year, New Yorkers use more than 20 billion plastic carryout bags, the majority of which are sent to land- fills. However, many bags do not make it that far, instead getting stuck in trees, clogging storm drains, getting caught in recycling equipment, and becoming part of the growing islands of plastic pollution poisoning our oceans and our food supply. According to an estimate by the World Economic Forum, "without significant action, there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean, by weight, by 2050." Of the recommendations for statewide solutions proposed by the Plastic Bag Task force, a ban on plastic bags with a fee on other carryout bags has proven most effective throughout the United States and internationally in reducing plastic bag use and encouraging a switch to reusable bags. For example, Los Angeles County, CA, has had such a ban/fee hybrid in place since 2012, and has seen a 94% reduction in carryout bag consumption. This model has been adopted statewide in California since 2016. Twelve municipalities in New York State have enacted some combination of bans and/or fees for carryout bags, including Suffolk County, Long Beach, Mamaroneck, New Paltz, Hastings-on-Hudson, and New York City (though this was later overturned by the Legislature). More than 1.6 million New Yorkers live in areas covered by a patchwork of bans and fees. Among other challenges associated with the lack of statewide action, these municipalities are unable to use the funds collected through carryout bag fees for any environmental purpose. This bill would ban the provision of plastic carryout bags, while plac- ing a minimum 10-cent fee on paper carryout bags and reusable bags. This is the fee level in place in California, and accords with the recommen- dations made by the Plastic Bag Task Force. The maximum fee for carryout bags is set at 25-cents, giving retailers flexibility to defray the increased cost of non-plastic bags, while alleviating concerns that fees could be set considerably higher. In-store plastic bags, such as produce, meat, and bulk food bags are exempt, as well as carryout bags provided by restaurants, prepared-food vendors, and emergency food providers. Customers paying with SNAP or WIC are exempt from the fee. Stores will keep 20% of the fee to defray costs, with the remaining 80% going to the state Environmental Protection Fund, to be made available to localities for plastic pollution education and cleanup, and reusable bag distribution, with an emphasis on distribution to low- and fixed-in- come communities.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-18 A9953 referred to environmental conservation   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Potential to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the state Envi- ronmental Protection Fund.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect nine months after it shall have become a law.
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