Statewide ban on plastic bags? Cuomo’s considering it

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering a ban on plastic bags to help clean up the environment, according to a spokesman.

“It’s clear that we need to address the real environmental concerns caused by the proliferation of plastic ‎bags, and a ban is one of the options we’re reviewing,” spokesman Richard Azzopardi said.

On Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed support for a ban on plastic bags on Twitter.

"...The time for debate on this is over. They're bad for the environment, they're bad for the economy, they're bad for New York. The state is behind the curve here, it's time to put our planet first," de Blasio said.

Plastic bags account for over 10 percent of debris that washes up on the county’s coastlines, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

In February of last year, the governor blocked a 5-cent fee on plastic bags proposed by the New York City Council and called the fee "deeply flawed" because it would allow store owners to keep the profit.

Instead, Cuomo set up a state plastic bag task force, which released its findings on Jan. 13. The 88-page report was criticized for not recommending a plan but instead offering several options to combat the issue.

Suffolk County began charging a 5-cent fee for paper and plastic bags in January.