DEC enforcement of statewide plastic bag ban begins October 19

Local News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State’s plastic bag ban will officially be enforced by the DEC starting October 19. The ban officially went into effect back on March 1, but was not enforced due to an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc., et al, in New York State Supreme Court.

Following an Order of the NYS Supreme Court, DEC agreed to give parties and the Court at least 30 days’ notice before starting enforcement. DEC is reportedly currently conducting outreach to stakeholders, including grocery stores, retailers, and others, to give notice of the start of the enforcement and answer any questions.

Once again DEC is continuing to urge New Yorkers to use reusable bags whenever and wherever possible through their #BYOBagNY campaign that was launched earlier in 2020. Additional information regarding the ban can be found on the DEC’s website.

It is reported that New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags per year, each for only about 12 minutes a piece, with around 85% of this total ending up in places such as landfills, recycling machines, waterways, and streets.

In March 2017, Gov. Cuomo created the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force, chaired by DEC Commissioner Seggos that aimed to develop a comprehensive plan to address the challenges associated with plastic bag waste.

The final report looked at the impacts of single-use plastic bags and gave legislators a number of options to develop a statewide solution. Additionally, after the New York State Plastic Bag Waste Reduction Act was passed, DEC reportedly held a series of meetings with industry stakeholders across the state to provide public input and help guide the agency in producing rules and regulations to implement the law.

For additional information or to file a non-compliance complaint, visit the DEC’s website, email plasticbags@dec.ny.gov, or call (518)-402-8706.

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