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DEC to release single-use plastic bag ban final regulations

Posted at 2:25 PM, Feb 17, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced it will release the final state regulations that it will implement when a ban on plastic bags goes into effect on Sunday, March 1.

According to the DEC, some of the refinements to the proposed regulations include:

  • Edits to the definition of “exempt” and “reusable” bags. Specifically, paragraph (12), in § 351-1.2(f), allowing “a film plastic bag for which there is no reasonable or practical alternative for storing, containing or transporting items, as determined by the department” was deleted;
  • Further clarification and examples added to the types of exempt bags described in paragraphs (1), (2), (8), and (9) of the definition of “exempt bag;”
  • The definition of “reusable bag” in § 351-1.2(n), was edited so allowable material types are listed first and clarify that reusable bags must be made of cloth or other machine-washable fabric or a non-film plastic washable material; and
  • Redundancy in the strength and durability standards was deleted and the requirement for handles to be separately attached was removed.

The DEC says it will publish the final regulations on the State Register on Wednesday, February 26.

"New York continues to be a national leader on environmental issues, and the plastic bag ban is the latest in a series of actions Governor Cuomo has directed to preserve our air, land, and water for future generations," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement. "DEC is proud to be at the forefront of these efforts and will continue to work to develop solutions to combat climate change and protect the environment and we continue to encourage New Yorkers to BYOBagNY and bring their own reusable bags wherever and whenever they shop.”

According to the DEC, the ban on single-use plastic bags will reduce litter, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the environment.

Governor Cuomo signed the New York State Plastic Bag Waste Reduction Act last year. Recently, Wegmans stopped using single-use plastic grocery bags in stores. According to Wegmans, the grocery store will charge a fee of five cents per paper bag used, and the money collected from the paper bag fee will go towards FeedMore WNY.