Enforcement of New York's Plastic Bag Ban Begins Oct.19, 2020 


DEC will begin enforcement of the State’s ban on single-use plastic carryout bags on Oct. 19, 2020. The plastic bag ban, which went into effect on March 1, was not enforced per an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries, Inc., et al, in New York State Supreme Court. The Court issued its decision in the case on Aug. 20, 2020, upholding the law and most of the Part 351 regulations. Pursuant to an Order of the New York State Supreme Court, Albany County, DEC agreed to provide the parties and the Court at least 30 days' notice prior to commencing enforcement. This notice was provided on September 18, 2020.


DEC will begin enforcing the law and the regulations, in accordance with the Court's decision, on October 19, 2020. As of October 19, 2020, any "person required to collect tax" must not distribute any plastic carryout bags to its customers unless such bags are exempt bags as provided for in the Bag Waste Reduction Law. Additional information is available at https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/117781.html.  


Additionally, stores covered under the NYS Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act are still required to collect plastic bags and other film plastics from consumers for recycling and continued compliance is expected from stores. For more information about the NYS Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act, please visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50058.html


DEC continues to encourage New Yorkers to use reusable bags wherever and whenever they shop with the #BYOBagNY campaign, launched earlier this year. Additional information about exemptions to the plastic bag ban, frequently asked questions, and posters, flyers, and tip strips to download, as well as tips for keeping reusable bags clean are available on the DEC website