New York state lawmakers have approved a state-wide plastic bag ban, which will go into effect in March 2020.
Shoppers use 500 billion single-use plastic bags worldwide every year.
These bags typically end up in landfills or the ocean. More than 100,000 marine mammals get entangled in plastic bags and die annually.
Other cities and companies have also banned single-use plastic straws.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York legislature have approved a new fiscal budget that includes a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags.
When the ban goes into effect on March 1, 2020, New York will become one of three US states that doesn't allow these bags. (The others are California and Hawaii.)
"The convenience of plastic bags is simply not worth the environmental impact," New York State Assembly speaker Carl Heastie told the Associated Press. "By reducing our state's usage, we will see less litter in our communities and less plastic pollution in our waterways."
Shoppers worldwide use some 500 billion (yes, billion) single-use plastic bags annually. That's roughly 150 bags per year for every person on Earth, according to the nonprofit group Ocean Crusaders. Strung end-to-end, that's enough plastic to circle the globe 4,200 times.
On average, a plastic bag has only a 12-minute lifespan, according to Reusethisbag, an organization that sells sustainable grocery bags.
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