Good Question: Are businesses being fined for violating plastic bag ban?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We’re a little more than a month into a new chapter of doing business for local grocery stores and other shops. Any business required to collect a sales tax in New York state can no longer give out plastic bags.

Businesses caught breaking the rules could face penalties, which are detailed in this state law:

Any person required to collect tax who violates any provision of section 27-2803 of this title shall receive a warning notice for the first such violation. A person required to collect tax shall be liable to the state of New York for a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars for the first violation after receiving a warning and five hundred dollars for any subsequent violation in the same calendar year.

So has anyone had to pay up yet? No.

News10NBC’s Brennan Somers checked with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Over the first month of policing the plastic bag ban in New York, running from mid-October up until last week, the DEC did not issue any fines statewide.

DEC officials say they are still working to make sure everyone knows the law is now being enforced after a delay earlier this year due to a lawsuit. They are also answering questions any business owners may have.

There are a few bags that are exempt from the rules. Read about those here.


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