WXXI AM News

basil seggos

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New York state’s environmental agency will begin enforcing a ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and other retailers on Oct. 19, more than seven months after the law took effect.

The law banning the single-use bags was to have taken effect on March 1, with a grace period before actual enforcement began. But the COVID-19 pandemic, and an unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the plastics industry, delayed its implementation.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said that changes next month.

James Brown / WXXI News

Keeping plastic bags out of landfills and the environment is the goal of New York State’s ban of the bags in grocery stores, but Foodlink’s CEO Julia Tedesco said there could be other consequences.

“We are also acutely aware and have had concerns that it could have a negative impact on low-income households who might not be able to afford these reusable bags,” said Tedesco.