Plastic bag ban to be enforced again, new concerns brought up

Local News

ALBANY, NY – Confusion around New York State’s plastic bag ban and what is permitted continues.

Enforcement of the law is slated to begin on October 19th, but some grocery store and bodega owners have brought up new complaints.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has the latest.

The plaintiffs including Poly-Pak Industries have filed a motion in Albany County Supreme Court against the Governor and the New York State DEC for sanctions and injunctive relief over the plastic bag ban.

((Zachary Taylor, American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance Director))
They’re asking the court to take a look at what the DEC, and how they’re planning on implementing the law starting I think, four business days from today, and whether or not that is in line with the court’s ruling from August.

The plastic bag ban which passed through the state legislature in 2019 was originally supposed be enforced this past March.

((Zachary Taylor, American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance Director))
It included a prohibition on plastic carry out bags, unless a bag was an exempt bag. The law was such was written in such a way that it would prohibit essentially any bag made of plastic, whether nylon, or polyester or other plastics, even those used to make portable reusable bags would be prohibited under that, under that under the law.

But, Taylor says when the DEC attempted to clarify the law, they established an additional exemption for certain kinds of plastic carry out bags.

That brought about a lawsuit from retailers and manufacturers who said the DEC exceeded its authority.

((Zachary Taylor, American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance Director))
The ruling directed the DEC that they are permanently enjoined from implementing or enforcing the bag regulations which authorized that exemption.

But, he says last week the DEC updated a portion of their website on this law prompting the new court filings.

((Zachary Taylor, American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance Director))
that included language that seemed to indicate the DC was going to enforce the law in a way that would authorize that exemption.

He says with a busy shopping season ahead and bag shortages due to COVID supply chain issues clarity is especially needed.

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