The ban on single-use plastic carryout bags will be enforced starting Oct. 19, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Friday.
The plastic bag ban, which went into effect on March 1, was not enforced because of an agreement parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc., in New York State Supreme Court.
DEC Commissioiner Basil Seggos said, “The Court’s decision is a victory and a vindication of New York State’s efforts to end the scourge of single-use plastic bags and a direct rebuke to the plastic bag manufacturers who tried to stop the law and DEC’s regulations to implement it. As we have for many months, DEC is encouraging New Yorkers to make the switch to reusable bags whenever and wherever they shop and to use common-sense precautions to keep reusable bags clean. The Court has ruled and DEC will begin to enforce the ban on October 19th. It’s time to BYOBagNY.”
The DEC said it is reaching out to grocery stores, retailers, and others, to provide notice of the start of enforcement and answer questions.
More information is available at on the DEC website.
New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags annually—each for about 12 minutes—and approximately 85 percent ends up in landfills, recycling machines, waterways, and streets.
The lawsuit was brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc., Green Earth Food Corp., Francisco Marte, Mike Hassen, and the Bodega and Small Business Association in New York State Supreme Court. DEC was represented by the New York State Attorney General’s Office in the lawsuit. The court issued its decision in the case on Aug. 20.