NEW YORK (WKBW) — The ban on single-use plastic bags in New York State officially went into place Sunday.
Although the ban went into place Sunday, the state will not penalize stores that violate the new ban until April 1st.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said in a statement:
"When the law goes into effect on March 1, 2020, and immediately thereafter, DEC will continue its ongoing outreach and education efforts to help achieve compliance, focusing on informing the public and regulated entities about the law and its requirements. However, if there are retailers that remain in violation of the law, they will receive a warning for the first violation. The law’s violation provisions in ECL Section 27-2807 state that after a violator receives a warning, they will be liable for a penalty of $250 for a violation and then $500 for any subsequent violation in the same calendar year."
The ban is part of the state's efforts to reduce its plastic footprint. The average American family takes home nearly 1,500 of these bags every year but according to Waste Management, only one percent of them are returned for recycling