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Plastic Bags

 A woman carries her purchase in plastic bags from a Gristedes supermarket on New York's Upper West Side, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

A plastic bag ban is part of the state Senate's one-house budget resolution released Tuesday. 

The Senate agrees with Gov. Andrew Cuomo that there should be a ban on carryout plastic bags. However, the Senate also supports imposing a fee on paper carryout bags. 

A final agreement, the Senate resolution explains, should "ensure that reusable bags are distributed to those who cannot afford new fees on grocery bag purchases."

Cuomo's proposal would ban single-use plastic bags at New York stores and supermarkets. There would be an exception for plastic bags used to hold fruit or meats. Plastic bags provided by restaurants for carryout meals would be exempt from the ban. 

A task force launched by Cuomo released several recommendations in early 2018 to address plastic bag waste. Roughly 23 million plastic bags are used by New Yorkers each year, according to the governor's office. 

The issue wasn't addressed in the 2018-19 state budget. After a budget agreement was reached, Cuomo introduced his proposal to ban plastic bags. But the legislation wasn't considered by the Assembly or Senate before the end of the legislative session. 

Cuomo renewed his push for a plastic bag ban when he announced it was part of his executive budget proposal this year.  

It's unlikely that the bag ban will be part of the final budget. The state Assembly's one-house budget didn't include the provision. And while Cuomo and the Senate agree on a ban, the Senate's proposal would go further. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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