New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that the DEC will begin enforcement of the state’s ban on single-use plastic carryout bags on Oct. 19.

The plastic bag ban, which went into effect on March 1, was not enforced per an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit brought by Poly-Pak Industries Inc., et al, in New York State Supreme Court.

Seggos said, “The Court’s decision is a victory and a vindication of New York State’s efforts to end the scourge of single-use plastic bags and a direct rebuke to the plastic bag manufacturers who tried to stop the law and DEC’s regulations to implement it. 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 Oct. 19. It’s time to BYOBagNY.”

Pursuant to an order of the New York State Supreme Court, Albany County, the DEC agreed to provide the parties and the court at least 30 days’ notice prior to commencing enforcement. The DEC is currently conducting extensive outreach to stakeholders, including grocery stores, retailers, and others, to provide notice of the start of enforcement and answer questions.

The DEC continues to encourage New Yorkers to use reusable bags wherever and whenever they shop with the -BYOBagNY campaign, launched earlier this year. Additional information about exemptions to the plastic bag ban, frequently asked questions, and posters, flyers, and tip strips to download, as well as tips for keeping reusable bags clean are available on the DEC website.

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