Gov. Cuomo calls for statewide plastic bag ban

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo began pushing for a statewide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags Monday.

The governor's proposal would ban them at any point of sale in the state. It comes on the heels of a January report that found banning the bags would reduce pollution and protect natural resources.

Plastic garbage bags and garment bags would be exempt. So would plastic bags that cover foods like deli meat.

Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, praised the ban but called for additional measures like banning plastic straws and utensils.

"All this plastic collectively is ending up in our oceans and our bays and killing fish and wildlife," she said. "We have a responsibility to do better."

Suffolk County began charging shoppers a 5-cent fee per bag at the beginning of the year in another effort to cut down on pollution.

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