A bill introduced this month by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy would require all single-use plastic containers — items like water bottles — to be made of 75 percent recycled material.
"We think it's doable, although it's ambitious. We have got to change what we are using in our single-use plastic water bottles," Fahy said.
The idea has stalled in California, but it's picked up some surprising support from Nestle — a major distributor of bottled water.
"We know micro plastics are ending up in our food. We've got to do something about bottles that can take a thousand years to decompose. So this is a first step and it's a long step," Fahy said.
Fahy says the measure would help local governments find new ways of selling recycled material that can't be sold in China anymore.
"Our municipalities across the state are struggling with places to recycle. So the more we create new markets, we need new markets to create more recycling," Fahy said.
A range of plastic ban measures, meanwhile, are being introduced — including bills to limit plastic straw usage and a bill introduced Wednesday barring the state government from purchasing single-use plastic items. The proposals are being cheered by environmental groups — including Liz Moran, environmental policy director at NYPIRG.
"It's so important that we address all single-use plastic items because what many people may not realize is it's not only a major pollution concern, it's also a major contributing factor to our climate crisis," Moran said.
New York's ban on single-use plastic bags approved this year is set to take effect next March.