New York has now implemented a ban on plastic bags, after several months of delay.
After several months of delay, the ban on plastic bags in New York takes effect this week. Actually, the state had postponed the enforcement of the particular law because of the health crisis and a case from plastic bag manufacturers.
Battle of the Ban
On October 19, New York had started implementing the ban on the use of plastic bags. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation had announced the enforcement last month, CNN reports.
Enforcement of the plastic bag ban in New York started today. The ban took effect on March 1, but was not enforced until now because of a lawsuit by plastic bag manufacturers as well as the coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/9CiJ9Q6mWO
— CNN Business (@CNNBusiness) October 19, 2020
But Gov. Andrew Cuomo had already approved of the law since March of last year. Supposedly, New York intended to implement it on March 1 this year. However, a lawsuit from plastic bag makers hindered that move, on top of the health crisis.
Particularly, the state received a lawsuit filed by the Bodega and Small Business Association. The group slammed the ban as unconstitutional and vague, The Times said. But both the case and the ban got delayed because the pandemic limited the number of people to work on such matters.
The Ban on Plastic Bags
The new ordinance, called The Bag Waste Reduction Law, serves as a step for the state to minimize waste and lower emissions caused by producing plastic bags. Actually, New York came in second to California among the US states to implement such a policy. Afterward, more states followed.
Basically, most establishments should stop depending on plastic bags. The state will fine violators with an amount up to $500. However, New York’s ban also has some exceptions. The Times said the state still allows restaurants to use plastic bags for take-out. Moreover, the law also exempts several more items like uncooked meat and fish and prescription drugs. Dry cleaning businesses can also use plastic bags.
Greener New York?
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation had previously encouraged citizens to “make the switch to reusable bags.”
Moreover, the department actually estimated that New Yorkers use up to 23 billion plastic bags annually. And then, people throw away the majority of those bags, lasting an average of 12 minutes of use time per person. About 85 percent of those single-use plastic bags end up as garbage.