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Take-Back Info for Businesses: Plastic Bags

plastic bag recyclingShare/Bookmark 

items that must be accepted
legal requirements
how to comply
optional steps

ALSO SEE:
plastic bag take-back info for residents 

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Items That Must Be Accepted

The same type of plastic carryout bag provided to customers at the point of sale. Other plastic items that can also be accepted include:

newspaper bags

newspaper delivery bags

shrink wrap

 

dry cleaning bags

dry cleaning bags

clean food bags

 plastic bags

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Legal Requirements

Applicable Law:

NY State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act
NY State ECL, Article 27, Title 27

Businesses Affected:

All stores that provide plastic carry out bags to customers.
Exceptions: any store with fewer than 5,000 square feet, or any non-chain store with less than 10,000 square feet.

Additional Info:

Visit the plastic bag manufacturers website leaving NYCWasteLess, created to help retailers set up plastic bag recycling programs.
For info about the law, visit the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation leaving NYCWasteLess.

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How to Comply

1.    Establish a system to recycle plastic bags. Plastic bags may not be collected with any waste of a putrescible nature. For assistance, visit the Progressive Bag Affiliate's (PBA) plastic bag recycling website leaving NYCWasteLess for a step-by-step toolkit. You can also call your plastic bag distributor.
2.    Set up a clearly marked collection bin in a visible location within the store to accept plastic bags. For information about free images and signs visit business take-back signs.
3.     Accept plastic bags for recycling during normal business hours, no purchase necessary. 
4.      Sell reusable bags in your store and allow customers to use their own reusable bag.
5.Label all plastic bags provided to the customer at the point of sale with the text: "Please return to a participating store for recycling."
6.      

Maintain records, for a minimum of three years, describing the collection, transport and recycling of plastic carryout bags.

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Optional Steps

In addition to the requirements under this law, retailers can take the following additional steps to save money and reduce waste.

1.

Minimize double bagging of plastic bags through staff training.
2.    Ask customers if they need a bag, or if they would like to use their own. 
3.     

Post educational materials that promote the benefits of using reusable bags. For information about free images and signs visit business take-back signs.

4.      Offer incentives (such as discounts) to customers who use their own bags.
5.

Stop providing plastic bags. Retailers that do not provide plastic carryout bags are exempt from the provisions of this law. To inform customers and enforcement officials, post a visible sign indicating this exemption.

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