A new analysis from the Rockefeller Institute of Government examines New York’s plastic bag ban – how the law rolls out, what is prohibited by the law and what is exempt; what it means for customers, retailers, and the environment; and how consumers can best adapt.
An estimated 23 billion bags are used in New York each year. Plastic bag litter can accumulate quickly and pose threats to humans, wildlife, and the environment. The Bag Waste Reduction Law is intended to reduce plastic bag waste and its negative impacts.
The analysis also looks at which other governments have passed laws and how consumers and retailers have responded, including the exploitation of legal loopholes, as well as an increase in purchases of thicker, heavier plastic bags.
Other findings from the analysis include:
Eight states currently have plastic bag bans, while 15 states have preemption laws that prohibit a municipality’s ability to regulate plastic bags.
More than 650 municipal-level plastic bag laws have been enacted since the first plastic bag ban in 2007.
The full analysis, including details about how the law will work, what is exempt, and more, can be found online.
Photo of Rockefeller Institute reusable bags provided.