As part of the new budget, state leaders passed a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags at most retail and grocery stores (restaurants are exempted). A provision was created for localities to impose a 5¢ fee on paper shopping bags, with revenue to be split 60-40% with the state environmental fund and the locality. (Council Members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin are sponsoring the paper bag fee for New York City.)
These ban and fee provisions are expected to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags by consumers and reduce the vast tonnage of plastic bags used by New Yorkers each year. The ban will start March 1, 2020.