Following a seven-month pause due to the pandemic, the statewide plastic bag ban goes back into effect Today. 

A state law that went into effect March 1 and ban many types of businesses from using the thin plastic bags that have been jamming up landfills, getting tangled in trees, and accumulating in lakes and seas.

Under the law, customers must bring their bag, or pay a five-cent fee for a paper bag. The New York State Supreme Court rolled back the lawsuit back in August.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner 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.” 

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the state consented to give at least 30 days’ notice before commencing enforcement.

A news release from the DEC says people of New York use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags each year. Each bag is used just for 12 minutes on average and roughly 85% of the plastic ends up in landfills, recycling machines, waterways, and streets.

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