The plastic bag ban in New York is NOT going into effect. It's been put on hold indefinitely.

The ban is on hold due to litigation from a plastic bag manufacturer and New York City bodega owners. "Subject to the ongoing litigation, DEC anticipates transitioning to enforcement and will communicate these efforts to impacted businesses," the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation said in a statement. "However, as the matter is subject to ongoing litigation, DEC cannot comment further at this time."

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The DEC website stated no enforcement action would be taken until 6/15/20, but that isn't happening. "The DEC will advise the parties and the court at least 30 days in advance of its intention to begin enforcing the ban on plastic bags."

New Yorkers are encouraged to transition to reusable bags whenever and wherever they shop and to use common-sense precautions to keep reusable bags clean. "We have consistently said since the beginning of our outreach campaign we will focus first on education with enforcement to follow.

The DEC is communicating with store chains and most retailers are allowing consumers to use reusable bags with some precautions, including advising consumers to pack groceries in their own bags, which was fairly common prior to the COVID-19 response. Information about cleaning reusable bags is available on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50034.html.