ALBANY – The New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation says that its enforcement of the State’s ban on single-use plastic bags will resume next month.
The plastic bag ban, which went into effect on March 1, was not enforced per an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc. in New York State Supreme Court, which the verdict in the case was issued on August 20.
The ban will now resume October 19.
According to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, the courts decision is a “victory” for the states efforts to end the usage of plastic bags.
“As we have for many months, the 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” said Seggos.
To help accelerate the movement, the DEC launched the #BYOBagNY (Bring Your Own Bag New York) campaign earlier this year to encourage New Yorkers to go reusable.
According to state officials, New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags annually with approximately 85 percent of those bags ending up in landfills, recycling machines, waterways, and streets.
In March 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo created the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force, chaired by Commissioner Seggos. The task force met several times to develop a uniform, comprehensive, and equitable solution to the challenge of plastic bag waste. The final report analyzed the impacts of single-use plastic bags and provided options for legislation that could help develop a statewide solution.
Following the passage of the New York State Plastic Bag Waste Reduction Act, a series of meetings were held with industry stakeholders across the state to provide input from the public and guide development of rules and regulations to implement the new law.
The DEC is currently conducting extensive outreach to stakeholders including grocery stores, retailers, and others, to provide notice of the start of enforcement and to answer any questions about the bag ban.
For more information about the plastic bag ban, reusable bags or to file a complaint about entities using single-use plastic carryout bags, visit the DEC’s website, email email@example.com, or call (518) 402-8706.