As coronavirus concerns grow, New York state Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan calls on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to suspend the plastic bag ban that was just recently implemented.
The plastic bag ban went into effect on March 1, but businesses who still use the plastic bags will not be fined until April 1.
In a statement, Flanagan pointed to a study that said the coronavirus can be carried and spread by reusable grocery bags.
"It is time to protect New Yorkers from the continuing spread of coronavirus by taking the additional steps of suspending the plastic bag ban and saying no to policies – at this time – that could lead to any additional cases," Flanagan said.
Health officials have stressed that very little is known about COVID-19 and research is still being done on how exactly this virus is spread. But according the the State Health Department, it is believed it can live on hard surfaces anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
A study was also released by the National Institute of Health on Wednesday that said the coronavirus can live on plastic for up to three days.
Flanagan is urging the Legislature to stop moving forward with other reusable container legislation and said the "desperate need to go green is unclean" during this time.