The Ban of Plastic Bags in New York: Will It Be Enough?

As of 1st March, if you go shopping for groceries without a bag in New York, you’ll have plenty on your hands because the seller won’t have any plastic ones to give you.

According to the NYC Department of Sanitation, in New York only, the residents use more than 10 billion one-time plastic bags on a yearly basis or $12 million annually.

Julie Raskin who’s executive director of the Foundation for New York’s Strongest that engages citizens and business in their waste management practices says that we use plastic bags only 12 minutes before we toss them away; however, in the landfills, they last hundreds of thousands of years.

New York’s behind on their Recycling Goals

According to a report by the New York Times, the city is behind their recycling goals and the NYS Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act is an answer to the people concerned about our home- planet earth.  

Plastic bags don’t just fill landfills, but they also end up in oceans and waters from where they’re broken into microplastics and harm and kill wildlife and consequently, disrupt our ecosystems.

What Does the Ban on Plastic Bags in New York Entail?

New York State won’t ban the purchase of bags like garbage can liners and sandwich bags and bags for picking up after your dogs.

It only prohibits the stores which collect the sales tax of New York State to pack customers’ items in single-use plastic bags.

You can still buy boxes of garbage bags and freezer bags in your local deli; however, you won’t get a plastic bag to take them away with you.

There are some exceptions that all New Yorkers should know.

For example, you can still get packed meals in plastic bags from restaurants whether to pick up the leftovers or to take your delivery.

The dry cleaners and laundry services can still use plastic for garment protection whereas newspapers can still be wrapped in plastic to keep them safe from outdoor elements.

In pharmacies, you can still get a plastic bag to carry your purchases.

And, in places where you buy food, these bags can be given for things you buy from bulk containers like raw meat and seafood and other unwrapped foods like cold cuts, plants or flowers.

What Should You Use Instead when You Head to a Supermarket in New York?

Retail stores aren’t obliged to provide you with any bag at all.

They can choose to provide paper bags for free or charge 5 cents for each.

The removal of these bags also defines what a durable and reusable plastic bag is. You can already get them for 99 cents in supermarkets like Key Food.

The Sanitation department of New York is distributing free and reusable bags at their events.

The state is hopeful that consumers will pick up their reusable cloth or synthetic fiber bags for their unplanned and planned shopping outings.