File Photo: Participants wearing costumes made with plastic bags are seen during the Earth Day Parade in Vancouver, Canada, on April 21, 2018. (Xinhua/Liang Sen)
NEW YORK, April 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced on Monday a bill that would ban single-use carryout plastic bags statewide.
"The blight of plastic bags takes a devastating toll on our streets, our water and our natural resources, and we need to take action to protect our environment," Cuomo said in a statement.
The bill would "ban the provision of single-use, plastic carryout bags at any point of sale," and "garment bags, trash bags and any bags used to wrap or contain certain foods" would be exempt.
If passed, the ban would go into effect on Jan. 1 of next year.
A handful of towns and cities in New York State currently ban plastic bags. California is the only entire state to have such a policy.
New York City passed a bill in 2017 to impose a five-cent fee on any paper or plastic grocery bag. However, the governor and the state Senate blocked it from taking effect.