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State lawmaker wants to expand New York's plastic bag ban

Keng Susumpow

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A state lawmaker wants to expand New York's plastic bag ban to include the sacks used for restaurant take-out and leftovers.

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, announced legislation Thursday that would eliminate an exemption for restaurants in the new law banning single-use shopping bags beginning next March.

She says restaurants provide too many plastic bags to be left out of the law.

Lawmakers passed the bag ban earlier this week as part of a new state budget. Under the new law, local counties can also impose a 5-cent fee on paper bags. The county could keep a portion of the proceeds, with the rest going to state environmental programs.

Fahy announced a second bill Thursday that would allow businesses to keep a portion of the fee on paper bags in counties that approve a fee.

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