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Enforcement of the Plastic Bag Ban Has Begun

New York State Plastic Bag Ban (Photo: @NYCzerowaste)

Oct. 19, 2020 By Christian Murray

Enforcement of the plastic bag ban started today.

The ban, which was approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year, went into effect on March 1 but the state did not enforce the law due to the coronavirus pandemic and a lawsuit filed by plastic bag manufacturers.

The lawsuit was dismissed by the New York State Supreme Court last month and businesses were then given 30-days notice to prepare for the enforcement..

The law prohibits stores from giving out single-use plastic shopping bags. Store owners are able to dispense paper bags and charge a 5 cent fee. Any business caught handing out the banned plastic bags will face a fine.

The plastic bag ban has some exemptions including vegetables and fruit. Families on food stamps are exempt from the fee on paper bags.

The ban followed calls from environmentalists who noted that the bags have been clogging up landfills, getting stuck in trees and filling up rivers, lakes and oceans.

The New York State DEC says that across the state more than 23 billion plastic bags a year are used and approximately 85 percent of those bags end up as litter.

“You see plastic bags hanging in trees, blowing down the streets, in landfills and in our waterways, and there is no doubt they are doing tremendous damage,” Cuomo said when he signed the legislation.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation advises that every New Yorker should bring their own bag when and where they shop.

Additional information on the Bag Waste Reduction Law can be found here.

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36 Comments

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Cecelia M Novak

The suburbs don’t have things like GARBAGE CHUTES!!! Those regular sized 13 gallon garbage bags DON’T FIT down them!!!

Many buildings, like mine, don’t allow the white bags, presumingly because the dos doesn’t like them either.

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Bks40

I went grocery shopping today and forgot to bring any of my own bags. I was able to buy plastic , not paper, bags for 10 cents a piece. Of course the 30 cents I spent on bags is not going to break the bank but if this is for the environment, why are plastic bags being offered at any price ?

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Can't live my own life

So you were penalized by the law for not bringing a bag to the grocery store, cool story.

I cant wait to be taxed and penalized for everything I do or dont do.

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BKS40

Very Nice. I appreciate the subtle way you purposely misinterpreted my post in order to make a snarky comment.
The point is if plastic bags are bad for the environment, then they should not be offered at all. Offering them at a price undermines the purpose of the law.

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Cuomo is Detached from NYC

I understand the environmental impacts of plastic bags, and it’s unfortunate that people liter these things. I hate seeing any litter of any kind, especially plastic bags in trees. It’s disgusting.

But, I think that Cuomo and the environmentalists are detached and delusional to think that a straight-up ban on plastic bags was the best way to go for NYC. Most of us New Yorkers WALK, NOT DRIVE, to the grocery store, which reduces our carbon foot-print. Cuomo and his pals are up in Albany where people drive everywhere. The grocery stores elsewhere are larger, so you take a huge rolling shopping cart, load it up once a week, roll the cart right up to your trunk, drive home, park in your garage, and make 2 or 3 20ft trips between your trunk and your fridge/pantry. Completely different from walking 4 blocks in the rain with paper bags.

These paper bags are difficult and cumbersome to carry, and I don’t trust the flimsy paper handles, even at the places that are “aware” enough to offer their paper bags with handles. I’ve had alot of difficulty carrying arm-fulls of paper bags home, much to the amusement of on-lookers. It’s quite embarrassing.

I also repurpose my plastic bags for garbage bags at home, which I’m sure most people also do. Now I will just be having to buy more plastic bags for garbage bags.

For this reason, instead of using re-usable bags, I have bought plastic bags to use for the grocery store. One more addition to the already high cost of living in this city.

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You’re detached from reality

I live in the suburbs and purchase 13 gallon 200 count garbage bags for $17.00. So that dispels your silly cry about purchasing garbage bags as a city residents expense. When I was growing up in Sunnyside we always used paper bags for trash after they were brought home from grocery shopping. Nothing complicated about lining the bucket with biodegradable paper bags.

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YOU are the one who is detached from reality!!!

The suburbs don’t have things like GARBAGE CHUTES!!! Those regular sized 13 gallon garbage bags DON’T FIT down them!!!

Many buildings, like mine, don’t allow the white bags, presumingly because the dos doesn’t like them either.

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So detached they didn’t know bags come on different sizes.

You do know plastic garbage bags come in in 8 gallon and even 4 gallon sizes and they’re cheaper than 13 gallon bags too.

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BKS40

I understand the problems that plastic bags pose to the environment but I repurposed those into trash bags for home use. Once I run out of my current supply, I will have to purchase plastic trash bags from the supermarket. I am sure most people will be doing the same. Will the ban have a significant impact of the environment or is it a regressive tax that impacts the poor and working class disproportionally ?

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Bks40

I went grocery shopping today and forgot to bring any of my own bags. I was able to buy plastic , not paper, bags for 10 cents a piece. Of course the 30 cents I spent on bags is not going to break the bank but if this is for the environment, why are plastic bags being offered at any price ?

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Gloria

I am looking to decorate and reuse the brown paper bags i get from the supermarket for Halloween 🎃. Hopefully trick or treating will take place. I need candies to last me through the holidays. My kids are remote learning and they make great treats and snacks.

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Jackie

My market did not have plastic bags during the lockdown and charged me 5 cents per paper bag. On the receipt they marked it as a grocery item. My sister got them for free because she now qualifies for SNAP afer she and her husband got laid off in March.

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Oh snap!

It must be a real struggle to pay 5 cents for a paper bag. Tell us more about your fragile hurt feelings!

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Sherri

Food prices has risen significantly. I can carry the items i can afford to shop in my hands. J am so tired of having corn flakes for dinner every night.

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You know that it depends on what they have available m

Our school had a pantry. A few times they ended up giving out to me and other teachers three heads of cauliflower and four rotting mangos because that’s all that was delivered. I ended up having to toss it all out.

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Maritza

So true. The apples in a bag were all brown om the inside and the bag of rice had flees in it. The people that think that no one goes to bed hungry in NYC are so wrong. Some of those food pantries are giving out expired food and food that goes bad in a day.

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#wheresjimmy

This is tyranny. The librals don’t want us to get our groceries home for the “environment”

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$15 Extravaganza

What the 0.05 cent bag won’t carry your groceries? It worked for 150 years, but that might be too much technology for you to handle.

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Fifteen Dollars

Tyranny is what the oil industry has done with their destruction of our environment. Yes, plastic bags are petroleum products that’s why they remain in the tops of trees fences and roof gutters for years and until we climb up and remove them. Plastic has killed millions of square miles of our oceans. How can people and Fox News defend use of such a destructive product when better and cheaper alternatives are available?

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Sunnysideposthatesme

About as stupid as blocking streets so people can exercise when there’s a stupid park a few feet away from them

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ABoondy

what park? all i see are cement slabs where all the smokers, drug dealers, and pot heads, and gamblers playing dice hang out. there’s no green space in this area, well, except the cemeteries. no different than most dump areas around the city. i’m surprised we havent had any shootings.

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What park would that be???

The one with the drug guys or the private family park you have to pay to be a member to???

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ABoondy

there’s nothing to fix. it needs to go bankrupt and with it, fire every executive and manager. the corruption starts at the top.

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Kooleo

I’m happy the paper bags are back. Everything in the plastic bags would roll around and they would often break.

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The planet will be here long after us

The plastic bag recycle bins at C-Town and other supermarkets were always filled so a lot of the plastic bag problem was being addressed without a ham-fisted, government ban.

Just don’t carry groceries in a paper bag home in a downpour, they’ll fall apart like, well, like wet paper bags.

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Great Observation

How’d you figure out that wet paper bags fall apart? Was it something you learned in school today?

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You know what this means.

Covid2020!!!!

Srsly, we were two weeks into the bank when covid came down with full force!!!

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Mike T

I always liked the paper bags better. I’m sick of fishing plastic bags out of my trees. I did not like plastic bags from day one of their arrival on the scene. I worked at A&P and in grocery and bagged when things got too busy. Bottles would never stand in those plastic bags. They were flimsy and hurt your fingers cutting off circulation. Petroleum industry minions will be posting propaganda. Open the flood gates.

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