A statewide ban on #plasticbags that started on March 1st means grocery stores, food establishments and other New York businesses must stop using them starting and in New York City consumers will also be charged 5 cents for every paper bag they use.

Free Shopping Bags! 
City Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Assembly Member Danny O'Donnell offices will be distributing free reusable shopping bags Saturday between 11am and 3pm.  
Location:  96th Street and Broadway 1/2/3 Station Plaza

Here's what you need to know:

What does the new law mean to my everyday life?   When you go shopping, you will no longer be handed your products in a plastic bag. Any business required to collect state taxes from customers will be banned from using them.

Does this mean all plastic bags are banned?:

No. There are exemptions. They are for bags


  • 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 pre-packaged 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.


To learn about NYC environmentally conscious non-profits, watch the award ceremony for the Manhattan Paper Challenge.