By COLlive reporter
New Yorkers are preparing for the New York State bag waste reduction law, which will take effect on March 1.
Starting March 1, New York’s grocery stores and other shops will no longer be providing plastic bags to customers.
Over 23 billion plastic bags are typically used each year in New York State, according to the DEC.
“Plastic bag usage affects both our communities and environment. Plastic bags can be seen stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, and floating in our waterways,” Governor Cuomo said.
The DEC recommends that consumers bring along reusable bags when they shop, although paper bags will be available in some stores.
The Bag Waste Reduction Law and Who it Affects
Starting March 1, 2020, all plastic carryout bags (other than an exempt bag) are banned from distribution by anyone required to collect New York State sales tax.
Cities and counties are authorized to adopt a five-cent paper carry-out bag reduction fee. This means that in these areas, a consumer will be charged 5 cents for each paper carryout bag provided at checkout.
Some stores may choose to only offer reusable plastic bags for a fee.
In areas that have adopted the five-cent paper carryout bag reduction fee, the fee does not apply to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children — a nutrition program) recipients, and they are exempt from paying a paper carryout bag reduction fee for paper carryout bags. One way to avoid paper bag fees no matter where you are across New York State is to always bring your own bag.