New York’s plastic bag ban begins today

Northeast

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 01: A customer carries plastic bag with stuff after shopping at a local store on March 1, 2020 in New York City. New York State is banning the distribution of single-use plastic bags, trying to reduce billions of discarded bags that ends into landfills, rivers and oceans. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Plastic bags are no longer an option in New York after the state’s ban went into effect Monday morning. New York joins California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont in banning single use plastic bags.

Some stores will also now charge a five cents fee for paper bags on top of banning all plastic ones — three cents goes to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and two cents to the local government enforcing the fee.

A lawsuit by the state’s plastic bag industry delayed the implementation of the ban back in March. Ultimately, New York’s State Supreme Court rejected that lawsuit.

Kate Kurera, Deputy Director of Environmental Advocates NY, told NewNation Affiliate WTEN that “New York’s bag ban has already improved New York’s health by cutting down on plastic pollution.”

Last year, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation on Earth Day. At the time he noted: “Twelve million barrels of oil are used to make the plastic bags we use every year and by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the oceans than fish. We need to stop using plastic bags, and today we’re putting an end to this blight on our environment.”

California passed the first statewide ban on plastic bags in 2014 and voters chose to keep the ban in place after a referendum placed the issue on the ballot in the 2016 election. At some locations there is also a 10 cents minimum charge for recycled paper bags, reusable plastic bags, and compostable bags.

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