CANASTOTA (WSYR-TV) - Madison County is considering a ban on plastic bags for all grocery stores, restaurants, and retail outlets in the area.
The move would be the first of its kind in Upstate New York. Several Long Island counties have enforced similar bans.
Each year, there are over ten million plastic bags used, and often put in landfills, in Madison County.
"It all adds up," James Zecca, the director of Solid Waste and Sanitation in the county said. "That's why the Board of Supervisors made the decision to at least move forward and look into it."
Only 2 to 3 percent of plastic bags are recycled each year. When done so effectively, they can be turned into a plastic lumber used for furniture or decks.
But the bags are not biodegradable, so they can last 500-1,000 years if they are put in a landfill.
If a law is passed, stores could face fines up to $500. Liquor stores, food pantries and soup kitchens would be exempt from the ban.
There will be a public comment period on the issue on May 9 at 2 p.m. at the Madison County Office Building in Wampsville.
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