EnvironmentNew YorkNews

Lenient start for New York’s plastic bag ban

Plastic bags will be ban in New York after March 1 but enforcement of the ban will not be immediate amid complaints of a paper bag shortage. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation DEC acknowledged that retailers may not have enough time to overcome plastic from stores, including a switch over to paper bags. As a result, they plan to let retailers continue to use synthetic bags without outcomes after the March 1 deadline goes into effect until further notice.

New York State, Department of Environmental Conservation

Enforcement will follow in the months ahead, DEC Chief of Staff Sean Mahar stated, on Tuesday. Our goal is to make sure that there’s a smooth transition for consumers and affected retailers with this ban, Mahar, adding we’re going to continue that education effort. But we want to give a period of transition. So everyone come into agreement here, but as of March 1, single use plastic bags are prohibited.

Later, the retailers and the bag industry have complained last month that they can’t replace plastic with paper because paper bags have come into short supply due to the growing popularity of plastic bag bans in other states and municipalities. One of three major bag manufacturers in North America, Novolex, estimates that New York will require 4 billion bags, or 52 percent of all the production capacity in North America, to comply with its new law. That will require new factories to be built.

NOVOLEX, Plastic bag manufacturers.

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