In February, New York was set to ban plastic bags at checkouts across the state, but it was put on hold...until now.

Last week I went to the store and when I got home and threw my bag on the table in the kitchen it dawned on me that people were still giving out plastic bags.  That should end today.  The plastic bag ban will begin being enforced today.

Months ago, New York announced that they were going to begin banning plastic bags from checkouts at stores across the state.  The ban was supposed to go into effect March 1st.  It was put on pause, however, due to a couple things.

The first that you will remember is that the pandemic was just beginning at that point.  People were bringing their personal use bags to the store for their groceries and many stores voiced a concern that those bags could be helping to transmit the virus between people from customers to workers.

The second reason to put the bag ban on pause, according to WNYT was a lawsuit from a number of plastic bag manufacturers and convenience store owners.  They claimed that the ban would bankrupt their businesses.

That lawsuit only put a pause on the ban as a judge ruled with the Department of Environmental Conservation in August.

"As we have for many months, DEC is encouraging New Yorkers to make the switch to reusable bags whenever and wherever they shop and to use common-sense precautions to keep reusable bags clean. The Court has ruled and DEC will begin to enforce the ban on October 19th. It’s time to BYOBagNY.” - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos

So today is the official day that the ban will begin being enforced.  The hardest part is going to be remembering to bring those reusable bags into the store.  If you haven't already gotten into the habit of it, like grabbing a mask before you leave the house, this will have to be something you'll need to remember too.


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