New York State won’t immediately enforce the single-use plastic bag ban, which goes into effect on Sunday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Friday.
The law, will, however, be in effect and customers will be expected to bring reusable bags or pay for paper bags instead of the plastic blamed for myriad environmental problems. The state Legislature passed the ban last March.
Because of an outcry from small stores and confusion over just what bags would be banned, the state has rolled back some categories of usage initially covered by the regulatory ban.
And many consumers complained that they repurpose the plastic bags acquired during shopping for use around their homes.
Restaurants were exempt from the rule all along.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos on Twitter wrote that officials had always planned for a grace period before enforcing the law.
The agency was in court Friday as a plastic bag manufacturer and a group of city bodega owners challenged the enforcement, Politico said.
New York is the third state with such a ban. It estimates that more than 23 billion plastic bags are typically used each year in the state.
The DEC also notes that while many stores will be selling reusable bags, they are not required to provide them to customers.