State Senator Joseph Griffo is encouraging the Governor to delay the implementation of New York State’s plastic bag ban.

Griffo is urging that the delay be extended until the COVID-19 emergency declaration has been lifted.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation had originally intended to enforce the bag ban prior to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 1st. Between the health crisis and a legal challenge the ban was delayed to June 15th, but now officials intend to enforce the ban.

Griffo says, “I am concerned that, at a time when we should be focused on hygiene and health, requiring the public to bring bags back and forth between stores and their homes could lead to potential contamination and health concerns.”

Griffo is also frustrated with the local establishments blaming the Government for imposing bag fees on customers and is encouraging them to offer a free alternative bagging option.

Griffo says, "Stores should not misrepresent the reasons as why they are charging a fee for an alternative bag. The implementation of the state’s plastic bag ban has been delayed for the time being. Retail outlets are charging the extra fee on their own despite not being required to do so by the state."

Senator Griffo also praised the governments of Oneida, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties for not imposing a fee on bags. Stores are charging customers five cents per bag and in some cases an additional ten cents may be charged if the paper bags have handles. Griffo will continue to fight for our right to carry, plastic bags.