New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that a ban on all single-use plastic bags will be included in the 2019 Executive Budget.

Cuomo also announced a proposed expansion of the Bottle Bill, which would make most non-alcoholic drink containers eligible for a $0.05 redemption, including those for energy drinks, fruit and vegetable beverages as well as ready-to-drink tea and coffee.

The move aims to combat litter and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Cuomo said: “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.

“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.”

Those excluded from the Bottle Bill expansion include bottles containing dairy milk, milk substitutes, infant formula, syrups and flavourings, medical prescriptions and dietary supplements.

The latest proposal is expected to help reduce sorting and financial burdens on local government recycling programmes.

“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.”

In consultation with industry participants and retailers, Cuomo will direct the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a study on expanding the Bottle Bill to include wine and liquor bottles.

Cuomo’s proposal with regards to statewide plastic bag prohibition is aimed at addressing the environmental impacts of single-use plastic bags.

The ban will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic bag production and disposal.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “Promoting recycling, reducing waste and helping end the blight of plastic bags littering our environment are top priorities. These actions will also help municipalities and retailers respond to global changes in the recycling industry.”

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