Get ready to throw away your plastic bags – the Bag Waste Reduction Law will go back into effect on Monday, Oct. 19.
Plastic bags were banned by the state Department of Environmental Conservation under this law, which initially went into effect on March 1. However, the state has not been enforcing the law due to a lawsuit from Poly-Pak industries, a Long Island-based bag manufacturer, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the DEC you are allowed to use any bag you choose but continues to urge people to look into the many alternatives that are more environmentally friendly, such as bags made from cloth.
But there are exceptions to the rule.
There are some instances where plastic bags can be distributed to you. One of these instances would be if you are picking up prescription drugs from a pharmacy. You can also still use plastic produce bags for items such as fruits and vegetables.
However, the DEC urges all consumers to do their part and use a reusable bag whenever possible.
The DEC also encourages everyone to “take common-sense precautions” and keep your reusable bags clean to minimize contact with germs as much as possible.
Dollar General has said it will be switching over to paper bags for customers, while Stewart’s Shops have been shying away from plastic bags from the beginning.
You can also purchase a reusable bag from your local Stewart’s during your visit. Each bag is 99 cents before tax, making it a total of $1.06.