plastic bag ban

Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect March 1st

Business Industry Retail

Some Uses Of Plastic Bags Are Still Permitted


The New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act, which will limit the use of plastic bags, takes effect on Sunday, March 1, 2020. The law prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags by retailers in New York State and authorizes counties and cities to impose a five-cent paper carryout bag reduction fee on paper carryout bags.

“Rockland County has NOT opted to charge the five-cent fee for paper bags,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Any fees being imposed by local retailers are at their sole discretion.”

“According to recent reports only New York City, Suffolk County and Tompkins County have opted to charge the five-cent fee,” he added.

The NYS Plastic Bag Task Force has said New York residents use 23 billion plastic bags every year. Plastic bags often end up in waterways and landfills, littering trees, and can harm wildlife.

The new law will be enforced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Businesses that violate the law will get a warning for their first offense. After a warning, businesses are slapped with a $250 fine. For violations after that in the same calendar year, penalties are $500.

There are several types of bags that are exempt to the ban:

  •     Those used solely to contain or wrap uncooked, fish, or poultry
  •     Those used by a customer solely to package bulk items such as fruits, vegetables, grains, or candy
  •     Those used solely to contain food sliced or prepared to order
  •     Those used solely to contain a newspaper for delivery to a subscriber
  •     Those sold in bulk to a consumer at the point of sale, such as garbage bags or sandwich bags
  •     Those used by a dry-cleaner or laundry service
  •     Those provided by a restaurant to carry out or deliver food
  •     Those provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs


For more information about the ban visit: