Plastic Bag Ban Comes to New York!

At long last, the plastic bag ban has arrived to New York State! This is the second statewide ban on single-use plastic bags following California. Since 2019 and in the weeks leading up to March 1, 2020, there have been articles and communication campaigns to socialize this legislation and get New York residents ready for the impending change.

Some messages include bringing your own reusable bag for all sorts of errands, the environmental benefits of using reusable items versus single-use ones, and more.

For environmental advocates and activists, this is a step in the right direction, but I think more can be done. The Gothamist shared an article that raises criticism of potential loopholes that businesses can use to continue providing plastic bags to their consumers, such as providing plastic bags that are thicker than 10mil (not to mention the long list of exemptions).

There are also opponents to the ban, such as a plastic bag manufacturer and NYC bodega owners who filed a temporary restraining order as a final attempt to challenge the legislation from taking effect (for now, penalties will not be put on businesses if they continue to provide single-use plastic bags).

Despite the obstacles, we should all proceed with the expectation that single-use plastics will soon be a thing of the past in NYS (and hopefully across the country and around the world) – styrofoam was first, plastic bags was second, and more to follow!

How do you feel about the plastic bag ban, and how have you prepared for it?