In 2019, New York became the second state in America to issue a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. This controversial measure, which went into effect on March 1st of this year, was included in the FY 2020 enacted budget. Enforcement of the ban has been delayed several times in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state first delayed the enforcement action of the ban until May 15th, and now, after a signed court order, the DEC will take no enforcement actions until June 15th at the earliest.
Now, while I personally have not set foot in a grocery store since February, I am truly starting to miss strutting around the market with my wife’s hot pink reusable bags. Just kidding. I fully understand the intent behind the law, and commend those who worked hard for it.
Part of me was all for the ban. I love fishing, and nature, plus, the ban has given me the confidence to leave dog poop on my neighbor’s lawn, since my actions are saving the environment after all.
But after the COVID-19 outbreak there is zero chance I will bring my own bags, nor do I believe others should be allowed to for the safety of everyone.
Bag Waste Reduction Law
As of 3/1/20, the new plastic bag legislation took effect. However, pursuant to an Order signed in NYS Supreme Court, Albany County on 4/16/20, DEC agreed to take no enforcement action until 6/15/20.
This does not affect the local laws in New York City, Suffolk County and Tompkins County requiring that the 5-cent paper carryout bag reduction fee must be charged on paper carryout bags.