Grab a free reusable bag at a NYC Sanitation Dept. event before the plastic bag ban takes effect in March

Photo courtesy of the Department of Sanitation

In an effort to reduce litter for marine life and city streets, New York is banning the use of single-use carry-out plastic bags throughout the state. 

The ban, which will go into effect on March 1, will bar businesses from providing plastic bags, with a few exceptions. Businesses will begin collecting a five-cent fee on paper carryout bags in New York City — shoppers that bring a reusable bag will not be charged.

“City residents use billions of single-use carryout bags every year, and they are frequently used for only a few minutes at a time,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “Plastic bags are particularly troublesome as contaminants in our recycling, as they often clog machinery, and we’ve all seen plastic bags stuck in city trees around the city. This is not sustainable. Bring your reusable bag every time you shop, and help us keep the city healthy, safe and clean.”

Before the ban goes into effect, the city’s Department of Sanitation is holding events throughout the five boroughs to hand out 100,000 free reusable bags to New York City residents. Some upcoming events include:


  • Wednesday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., 295 St Ann’s Avenue
  • Friday, Feb. 14, 2:30 to 3 p.m., 1841 Westchester Avenue
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 877 Southern Boulevard
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 1065 E 163rd Street


  • Monday, Feb. 10, 2:30 to 3 p.m., 1932 Fulton Street
  • Thursday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1555 Linden Boulevard
  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2:30 to 4 p.m., 665 New Lots Avenue


  • Monday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 68-07 Burns Street
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., 183-02 Union Turnpike
  • Saturday, Feb. 29, 1 to 4 p.m., 115-21 Farmers Boulevard


  • Friday, Feb. 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 8 East 109th Street

Staten Island

  • Tuesday, Feb. 11, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., 1000 Richmond Terrace
  • Friday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to noon,  2600 Hylan Boulevard
  • Friday, Feb. 28, 7 to 8 p.m., 77 Bennett Street

For a full list of upcoming events, visit at nyc.gov/bags.

“I’m very excited to see New York’s plastic bag ban go into effect this March,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “A ban on plastic bags is exactly the type of direct action that we need to mount a formidable fight against climate change. Thanks to the ban, New Yorkers will be incentivized to adopt more sustainable habits, resulting in less pollution and heightened awareness about the climate crisis. I am committed to supporting the Department of Sanitation’s efforts to help New Yorkers make the transition by distributing reusable bags to constituents in my own district.”

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