NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will begin enforcement of the state’s single-use plastic carryout bags on October 19. The ban actually went into effect on March 1, but enforcement was delayed due to a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court.

“The Court’s decision is a victory and a vindication of New York State’s efforts to end the scourge of single-use plastic bags and a direct rebuke to the plastic bag manufacturers who tried to stop the law and DEC’s regulations to implement it,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “The Court has ruled and DEC will begin to enforce the ban on October 19.”

The DEC continues to encourage New Yorkers to use reusable bags as much as possible with the #BYOBagNY campaign, which was launched earlier this year. They also said to use common-sense precautions and clean reusable bags.

New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags annually, and each for about 12 minutes.

For more information about the plastic bag ban, reusable bags, or to file a complaint about entities using single-use plastic carryout bags, visit DEC’s website, send them an email, or call (518) 402-8706.