From the Times:
and“There was a real understanding that there should be a ban on plastic,” said Todd Kaminsky, a Democratic state senator from Nassau County, who is the chairman of the environmental conservation committee. “And that if people go to paper rather than reusables, we are not that better off.”
So a 5-cent fee on plastic bags is a regressive tax...but a 5-cent fee on paper bags is not? Making people buy reusable bags is not?The ban also marks an evolution for Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, who in 2017 signed a bill that effectively killed a New York City law that would have imposed a 5-cent fee on plastic bags. The New York City fee had also been opposed by some in the State Assembly, which has been dominated by Democrats, who worried that the fee would act as a regressive tax on poor consumers.
So the mindset is completely clear: they would go for a flat ban on any and every "non-reusable" bag if they could.But that provision also left some environmental advocates disappointed; they argue that by not mandating a paper-bag fee, many people will simply use paper bags instead of reusable bags.
Peter Iwanowicz, the executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, said the provision to make paper-bag fees optional made the proposed plan “a weak response to the scourge of disposable bags.”
“New York had a chance to show real leadership and came up short,” he said.