New York Gov. Cuomo Signs Bill Banning Single-Use Plastic Bags

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a program bill prohibiting the sale of single-use plastic bags across the state. The law will take effect in March 2020.

Under the law, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has the exclusive jurisdiction over all matters related to plastic bags.

Garment bags, trash bags and any bags used to wrap or contain certain foods, such as fruits and sliced meats are exempt from the ban.

Additionally, the law allows counties or cities to charge a five cent fee for single-use paper bags. Three cents from the fee will go to the Environmental Protection Fund. The remaining two cents will go to the locality to pay for distribution of reusable bags.

In March 2018, Cuomo introduced the program bill to ban sing-use plastic bags after the New York Plastic Bags Task Force released its report regarding the issue.

The Task Force found that single-use plastics bags are non-biodegradable and often end up as litter on lands and waterways, harming marine habitat and wildlife. Recycling centers spend millions of dollars to dispose/fix problems caused by plastic bags.