If you are as confused as everyone else about the New York State plastic bag ban then keep reading. In New York State on March 1, 2020, the ban went into effect at most retailers with the goal of cutting down on plastic bags polluting our environment. Shortly after the ban went into effect, a lawsuit against the state was put forth by a plastic bag manufacturer and convenience store owners. According to AP news, because of the lawsuit, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) delayed enforcement of the law. Along with the lawsuit, the COVID-19 pandemic caused some retailers to prohibit customers from bringing in reusable bags due to concerns over those bags possibly spreading of the virus.

Last month, NY State won it the lawsuit against the ban and can reinstate it with one month's notice to retailers which has already taken place. According to New York Upstate (NYUP),that means as of October 19th, the ban on single-use plastic bags will return so get your reusable bags ready to go. I keep a bunch in my car. If you forget to bring a reusable bag, most stores will offer a paper bag with some charging a few cents for it.

The question is, will store clerks pack your reusable bags? That is up to each store. I have a feeling that until the COVID-19 crisis is done, we'll all be packing our own bags, which means slower check-out lines. Try to be patient!

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