Reminder: NYS Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect 3/1

Rockland County Executive Ed Day reminds residents that the New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act takes effect on Sunday, March 1, 2020. The law prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags by retailers in New York State and authorizes counties and cities to impose a five-cent paper carryout bag reduction fee on paper carryout bags.
“Rockland County has NOT opted to charge this five-cent fee for paper bags. Any fees being imposed by local retailers are at their sole discretion,” said County Executive Day. “According to recent reports only New York City, Suffolk County and Tompkins County have opted to charge the five-cent fee.”
It was estimated by the NYS Plastic Bag Task Force that New York residents use 23 billion plastic bags every year which often end up in waterways and landfills, littering trees, and can harm wildlife. The new law will be enforced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Businesses which violate the law will get a warning for their first violation. After a warning, businesses get a $250 fine. For violations after that in the same calendar year, penalties are $500.
There are several types of bags that are exempt to the ban:
  • Those used solely to contain or wrap uncooked, fish, or poultry
  • Those used by a customer solely to package bulk items such as fruits, vegetables, grains, or candy
  • Those used solely to contain food sliced or prepared to order
  • Those used solely to contain a newspaper for delivery to a subscriber
  • Those sold in bulk to a consumer at the point of sale, such as garbage bags or sandwich bags
  • Those used by a dry-cleaner or laundry service
  • Those provided by a restaurant to carry out or deliver food
  • Those provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs
For more information about the ban visit:

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