New York is the second state in the country to ban plastic shopping bags. Here's what you need to know.

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This new law is to encourage people to bring reusable bags when they shop and also help to reduce trash and litter.

New York State will prohibit the Use of Plastic Bags:

The Enacted Budget includes legislation to ban single-use plastic bags provided to customers and allows counties and cities to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags, with 40 percent of the revenue supporting local programs to buy reusable bags for low and fixed income consumers, and 60 percent of the revenue supporting programs in the State's Environmental Protection Fund. [NYS]

Any store that is required to collect sales tax, including groceries, retailers and small businesses, will not be allowed to hand out single-use plastic bags as of March 1, 2020.

There are 11 exceptions to the law and include:

  • uncooked meat, fish or poultry
  • bulk items
  • sliced or prepared foods
  • a newspaper for delivery
  • prescription drugs
  • garment bags
  • carryout orders at restaurants and taverns

Counties and cities in New York could choose to use paper bags and charge a 5 cent fee on each bag. Local government would keep 2 cents and the other 3 cents would go to the state's Environmental Protection Fund.

Only those who receive SNAP or WIC benefits are exempt from paying the paper-bag fee.

Do you agree with the plastic bag ban? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

[ Information from NYS and Democrat & Chronicle]