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New York Plastic Bag Ban Information

Information you need to know about New York's plastic bag ban going into effect on March 1st, 2020

Executive Summary:

A large portion of our customers are exempt from the ban and may continue to use plastic bags if they so choose.

Which uses of bags are exempt?

  • Provided by a restaurant, tavern, or similar food service establishment, as defined in the state sanitary code, to carry out or deliver food;
  • Used solely to contain or wrap uncooked meat, fish, seafood, poultry, or other unwrapped food, flower, or plant item;
  • Used by a customer solely to package items from bulk containers, including fruits, vegetables, grains, candy, small hardware items (such as nuts, bolts, and screws), live fish, or live insects;
  • Used solely to contain food sliced or prepared to order;
  • Sold as a trash bag;
  • Sold as a food storage bag, such as those in snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon sizes;
  • Provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs;

This is not the complete list of exempt bags. We've removed products that do not pertain to our customers or industry to improve clarity and readability. The complete list is available at the link below:

Download the full list

View food service definition

Some of our customers are transitioning to paper bags regardless due to public opinion. This is a business choice; they are concerned that their customers will believe they are breaking the law or they are choosing what is perceived to be more environmentally friendly solution . However, it is not mandatory if your business falls into one of the above categories.

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