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New York has officially become the third state in the United States to ban plastic bags.
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation to institute the ban.
Cuomo - Earth - Day - Day - Law
Cuomo picked Earth Day as the day on which he would enact the law, which will take effect beginning next March.
Cuomo and fellow Democrats who control the Legislature reached a deal last month to make New York the third state with a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags as they worked to finalize budget agreements.
Ban - Stores - Plastic - Bags - Purchases
The ban would prohibit grocery stores from providing plastic bags for most purchases, something California has been doing since a statewide ban was approved in 2016.
Hawaii has an effective statewide ban, with all its counties imposing their own restrictions.
Supporters - Bans - Plastic - Bags - Environment
Supporters of such bans say they keep plastic bags from entering the environment and causing damage to ecosystems and waterways.
'With this smart, multi-pronged action New York will be leading the way to protect our natural resources now and for future generations of New Yorkers,' Cuomo, who proposed a ban in his $175 billion budget proposal, said.
New - York - Ban - Effect - March
New York's ban wouldn't take effect until next March.
The plan also calls for allowing local governments the option to impose a 5-cent fee on paper bags, with 3 cents going to the state's Environmental Protection Fund and 2 cents kept by local governments.
Conservation - Advocates - Fee - Paper - Bags
Environmental conservation advocates had also been pushing for a statewide fee for paper bags as a way to encourage wider consumer use of reusable bags.
Nonetheless, Patrick McClellan, state policy director...
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