The Following statement is by John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs:

“The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) applauds Governor Cuomo and the New York State Senate and Assembly for their leadership in banning single-use plastic bags in this year’s budget. We see plastic bags as litter every day – hanging from trees along highways, blowing down the street, and in our waterways where they do incredible harm to whales, sea turtles, sea birds and other wildlife. Plastic pollution is ubiquitous, whether it’s along the beaches of Coney Island, literally the backyard of WCS’s New York Aquarium, or the remote shorelines of Papua New Guinea, where WCS is establishing new marine protected areas. With this ban, New York’s waters will be cleaner and safer for marine wildlife. We look to other states and countries to follow New York’s lead. WCS’s Zoos and Aquarium have already joined other zoos to ban many single-use plastics at our facilities. WCS looks forward to addressing other sources of plastic pollution including plastic straws through its Give a Sip Campaign, which calls for a ban of single-use straws in New York City.”