New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that DEC will begin enforcement of the State’s ban on single-use plastic carryout bags on October 19th, 2020.
The plastic bag ban, which went into effect on March 1st, was not enforced per an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc., et al, in New York State Supreme Court.
Pursuant to an Order of the New York State Supreme Court, Albany County, DEC agreed to provide the parties and the Court at least 30 days’ notice prior to commencing enforcement. A statement to the press from DEC says the agency is currently conducting extensive outreach to stakeholders, including grocery stores, retailers, and others, to provide notice of the start of enforcement and answer questions.
DEC continues to encourage New Yorkers to use reusable bags wherever and whenever they shop with the #BYOBagNY campaign, launched earlier this year. Additional information about exemptions to the plastic bag ban, frequently asked questions, and posters, flyers, and tip strips to download, as well as tips for keeping reusable bags clean are available on the DEC website.
According to DEC, New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags annually — each for about 12 minutes. In March 2017, Governor Cuomo created the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force, chaired by DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. The task force met several times and issued a final report analyzing the impacts of single-use plastic bags and provided options for legislation that could help develop a statewide solution.
Following passage of the New York State Plastic Bag Waste Reduction Act, DEC held a series of meetings with industry stakeholders across the state to invite input from the public and guide the agency’s development of rules and regulations to implement the law.
For more information about the plastic bag ban, reusable bags, or to file a complaint about entities using single-use plastic carryout bags, visit DEC’s website, email email@example.com, or call (518) 402-8706.