New York Bans Single-Use Plastic Bags in Grocery Stores

By Paul Riegler on 29 February 2020
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An Amazon Go grocery store in New York

The confusion of a tourist in a German supermarket who finds himself at the checkout lane with all his purchases but no plastic bag offered will soon be commonplace in New York City as well.

A new rule that goes into effect on Sunday will cause grocery stores and supermarkets to stop handing out free single-use plastic bags to customers at the register. Customers will be encouraged to purchase reusable shopping bags and many stores will offer somewhat retro brown paper bags for five cents each.

Shops will be permitted to provide single-use bags for uncooked poultry and meat, sliced or prepared foods, and prescription drugs.  In addition, restaurants are allowed to provide plastic bags for takeout food.

The ban is in effect throughout New York State.

With the measure in place, New York joins California, which banned single-use bags in 2016, and Oregon, which banned them in January of this year, as well as Hawaii, where all counties forbid the distribution of such bags.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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