The Plastic Bag Ban Is Back…Although It Never Really Left
I know it's been confusing for the last six months...are we allowed to use plastic bags, or do we still consider them the devil's handbag? Right before the coronavirus pandemic hit hard in March everyone was up in arms about the plastic bag ban. Then, poof...it was gone and the plastic bags were back.
I even brought my 643 reusable bags to Hannaford one Saturday morning only to find out that they wouldn't bag my groceries with them. I could bag them myself or use single-use plastic bags. I was so confused.
Well, apparently the days of confusion are over. Officially, the plastic bag ban is back in effect immediately. The ban was put on pause partially because of Covid-19, but also because several manufacturers of bags brought a lawsuit against the state claiming that the ban would significantly harm their business.
Although, the suit has been decided don't think that this is the end of businesses and manufacturers challenging the bag ban. Some think that the law is too vague and allows loopholes for thicker 10mm bags to be used that are still considered single-use bags.
According to Spectrum News, It is still unclear when the plastic bag ban will start to be enforced. The Department of Environmental Conservation says they will give businesses a 30 days’ notice on the intent to start enforcement.
Environmental advocates like Judith Enck applauded this win.
“New Yorkers were doing a really good job in late February and early March,” Enck said. “So there’s just been this delay, understandably due to not only COVID but the court decision. But now we can set the reset button and drive down that number of 23 billion plastic bags being used every year in New York state.”
For now, I'll dust off my environmentally friendly stack of reusable grocery bags and consider the ban is now back in effect.