DEC: Plastic bag ban will be enforced starting today in New York stores

The Department of Environmental Conservation says they will begin enforcing a plastic bag ban that technically took effect in March in New York.
Starting today, shoppers will have to bring their own reusable bag, buy a reusable bag or pay five cents for a paper bag.
The DEC says it hasn't been enforcing the plastic bag ban because of a lawsuit, as well as concerns around the safety of reusable bags during the pandemic.
The ban will be effective not just in grocery stores, but in all stores. Any place required to collect sales tax is barred from giving out plastic bags.
The DEC hopes the law will protect the environment and local communities in a state where over 23 billion plastic bags are used a year.
New York officials are encouraging people to be smart when using reusable bags. They say that they should be cleaned regularly and stored in cool, dry places.