New York State Readies For March 1st Plastic Bag Ban

The West Side Rag reports:

If you don’t own reusable shopping bags, now is the time to invest in some. You may also want to stockpile your favorite take-out plastic bags. Starting March 1, stores in New York State will be banned from giving single-use plastic bags to customers at checkout as the New York State Bag Waste Reduction Law goes into effect.

Shoppers will need to either bring their own reusable bags or expect to pay 5 cents or more for each paper bag they receive at checkout. The ban includes grocery stores, food establishments, and other New York businesses. The purpose of the law is to protect the environment and wildlife, and to cut down on waste.

The Albany Democrat & Chronicle reports:

Reusable bags will still be allowed, even if they’re made of plastic. What determines if a bag is reusable? According to the DEC’s regulations, a reusable bag has to be made of either cloth (or any machine-washable fabric) or a thicker plastic that can be washed.

It also has to have at least one strap or handle, a minimum lifespan of at least 125 uses and the ability to carry at least 22 pounds for at least 175 feet. Also, a store can’t stop you from bringing in and using single-use plastic bags you acquired before the ban takes effect. That’s laid out in the rules, too.