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NYS Plastic Bag Task Force

Image of the cover of the NYS Plastic Bag Task Force Report. Shows a sea turtle and a mantaray swimming amongst plastc debry.

Across New York, residents use 23 billion plastic bags annually. A significant number of these bags make their way into the environment causing litter and damaging wildlife, which can be seen within our waterways, along our streets and in our oceans and lakes. These bags do not biodegrade -- they persist for years.

In March 2017, Governor Cuomo created the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force, chaired by DEC Commissioner Seggos. Since its formation, the task force met several times to develop a comprehensive solution to the plastic bag problem.

Members of the Task Force included:

  • Basil Seggos, Commissioner, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Senator Thomas O'Mara, NYS Senate
  • Assemblyman Steve Englebright, NYS Assembly
  • Stephen Acquario, Executive Director, NYS Association of Counties
  • Marcia Bystryn, New York League of Conservation Voters
  • Michael Rosen, Food Industry Alliance

The group was tasked with developing a uniform and equitable statewide plan to address New York's plastic bag problem. The final report (PDF) is a thorough analysis of the impacts of single-use plastic bags. This report provides several options that were taken into consideration for legislation to help develop a statewide solution to the problem. As of March 1, 2020, New York State will be taking action to address the impact of single-use plastic bags with the implementation of the Plastic Bag Waste Reduction Law. DEC provides information on this law for consumers and retailers, as well as digital outreach materials.


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  • NYSDEC
    Division of Materials Management
    Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7253
    518-402-8706
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