NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York's plastic bag ban went into effect Monday, following a seven-month pause.
The mandate took effect March 1 but hasn't been enforced, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic and a lawsuit by plastic bag manufacturers.
The New York State Supreme Court struck down the lawsuit back in August.
"The Court's decision is a victory and a vindication of New York State's efforts to end the scourge of single-use plastic bags and a direct rebuke to the plastic bag manufacturers who tried to stop the law and DEC's regulations to implement it. As we have for many months, DEC is encouraging New Yorkers to make the switch to reusable bags whenever and wherever they shop and to use common-sense precautions to keep reusable bags clean. The Court has ruled and DEC will begin to enforce the ban on October 19th. It's time to BYOBagNY," Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said.
Following the Supreme Court's ruling, the state agreed to provide at least 30 days' notice prior to commencing enforcement.
A news release from the DEC says New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags annually.
Each bag is used for just 12 minutes on average and roughly 85% of the plastic ends up in landfills, recycling machines, waterways, and streets.
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