Beginning in March, no business charging NY State sales tax can give out a single-use plastic bag.
Bags that are exempt include:
- Used solely to contain or wrap uncooked meat, fish, seafood, poultry, or other unwrapped food, flower, or plant item;
- Used by a customer solely to package items from bulk containers, including fruits, vegetables, grains, candy, small hardware items (such as nuts, bolts, and screws), live fish, or live insects;
- Used solely to contain food sliced or prepared to order;
- Used solely to contain a newspaper for delivery to a subscriber;
- Sold in bulk quantities to a consumer at the point of sale that were specifically prepackaged in a manner to allow for bulk sale (for example, quantities of bags prepackaged in individual pre-sealed boxes) or prepackaged in individual boxes or containers for sale to a customer;
- Sold as a trash bag;
- Sold as a food storage bag, such as those in snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon sizes;
- Used as a garment bag, such as those used by a dry cleaner or laundry service;
- Provided by a restaurant, tavern, or similar food service establishment, as defined in the state sanitary code, to carry out or deliver food;
- Provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs;
- A reusable bag, as that term is defined in proposed Part 351 draft regulations; or
- A film plastic bag for which there is no reasonable or practical alternative for storing, containing or transporting items, as determined by the department.
NYers use every year about 23 million plastic bags that end up in our waterways and landfills.