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Need to Know

Plastic Bag Ban Upheld by New York State Supreme Court


New York State’s Bag Waste Reduction Law went into effect on March 1, 2020, banning most single-use plastic bags in the state (exceptions are made for bags such as those used by a pharmacy for prescription drugs or at a grocery store for produce).

But, even though the law technically took effect in the spring, the coronavirus pandemic delayed its enforcement until mid-June.

When the pandemic was at its worst, “some stores even banned customers from bringing in their own reusable bags.” And a group, including a plastic manufacturer and the Bodega Association, sued the state, “claiming the law was unconstitutional and inconsistent, in addition to causing them financial harm, especially during the pandemic.”

This past week, the New York State Supreme Court struck down the lawsuit against the statewide plastic-bag ban. Justice Gerald W. Connolly reinforced that the ban was legal.

"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 our law," noted Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos.

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