New York’s ban on single-use plastic bags was upheld Thursday, a blow to bodega owners and a bag manufacturer who sought to strike down the law.
State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly ruled in favor of the state’s plastic prohibition, which took effect back in March before enforcement was delayed by the legal challenge and coronavirus crisis.
“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 our law,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.
The law bars grocery stores and bodegas from offering thin, single-use plastic bags to customers. Many counties across the state have already implemented a 5 cent fee on paper bags, which is meant to encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags.
“That the portion of the Bag Regulations allowing for use of certain plastic reusable bags is in plain contradiction of the Bag Reduction Act is further borne out by the legislative history herein,” Connolly wrote in his ruling.
It’s up to lawmakers to come up with legislation that expands the list of “exempt bags,” he added.