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As New York state grapples with a plastic pollution crisis, legislators are taking aim at the problem with a new spate of policy proposals.

Two bills introduced in the New York state assembly this month would place far-reaching requirements on plastic manufacturers, mandating that they pay for waste management and dramatically increase recycling rates, among other things.

One of the bills, branded by proponents as “the strongest packaging reduction bill in the nation,” would require plastic manufacturers to reduce their single-use packaging by at least 50 percent within 10 years, while also mandating that big polluters pay for the cost of plastic disposal and recycling. The other proposal would expand New York’s “Bottle Bill,” which allows consumers to get a few cents back if they return used bottles to a retailer or redemption center.

“This comprehensive legislation is commensurate with the severity of the plastic pollution problem,” Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and president of the advocacy group Beyond Plastics, said in a statement.

The single-use bill, Assembly Bill A10185, invok... Read more

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