Did You Know You Can Still Get Plastic Grocery Bags In New York?
It's been almost three years since New York State banned plastic bags at stores, but there is still a way to get them.
In 2020, New York State became the newest state to join in a ban on plastic bags at stores. The new law was from Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). It was amended to create a new Title 28 for the New York State Bag Waste Reduction Act. It stated that "all plastic carryout bags (other than an exempt bag) became banned from distribution by anyone required to collect New York State sales tax."
As soon as it went into effect people started to stash some extras away for a rainy day. Some started to say that they would be "worth a fortune" someday soon. Sure enough, today as I was walking through the store, I found some. Bags that were once being given away with your groceries were now for sale.
Yup. That's a bundle of plastic bags that you can purchase for $5.99.
Now...if you're saying, "Wait...I thought they were banned?!" I did too. So I looked up the law.
As I understand it, the law says that it's illegal for stores that pay taxes to distribute plastic bags (or give them away). But there's nothing that says they can't sell them. It would be the same as if they were selling plastic zip-loc bags. They're bundled for sale to be used how the consumer chooses to use them.
The DEC has made it clear that "While shoppers can bring any type of bag -- including film plastic -- note that there are many alternatives to choose from which are more environmentally friendly." Using reusable bags to do your shopping such as bags made of cotton or another durable material is still the most environmentally friendly option. But if you miss plastic bags and would like to get them...they're available.