Long Beach Carryout Bag Ordinance

February 2020 - NYS Plastic Bag Ban Update:

Starting March 1, 2020, all plastic carryout bags (other than an exempt bag) are banned from distribution by anyone required to collect New York State sales tax.

Under the new State law, New York cities and counties are authorized to adopt a 5-cent paper bag fee, which would require businesses to charge a 5-cents and remit this fee to the State. As of this writing, Long Beach has not "opted-in" to the State's fee structure, but it many do so in the coming months.

The City of Long Beach adopted its own carryout bag ordinance in October 2016. Our local law requires that retail establishments charge a 5-cent fee but allows them to retain this fee for their business. This local law will stay in effect after March 1st, 2020 - meaning businesses must continue charging 5-cents for paper bags and also retain this fee.

In the coming months, the City may determine to "opt-in", allowing the State to collect the 5-cent fee instead of businesses (40% of the collected fees would be remitted back to the City for purchasing and distributing reusable bags). This action would require the City to adopt local legislation and certify the updated local law with the the NYS Department of Taxation, per NYS Tax Law.

Plastic bags harm wildlife and increase our recycling and disposal costs. They are frequently seen stuck in trees, found on our beach and waterways, and collected as litter in our neighborhoods. Please help keep our environment clean and encourage customers, friends, and family to BYOBag!

Businesses can find technical information regarding the New York State Bag Waste Reduction Act by visiting: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/117781.html

For the full text of the bill visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/ENV/A27T28.

October 2016:

On October 18, 2016, the Long Beach City Council passed Nassau County’s first-ever Carryout Bag Ordinance. Since 2015, after recommendation from the Environmental Advisory Board, the City partnered with local organizations and businesses to organize free “Bag It” documentary viewings at City Hall, the MLK Center, Bridgeworks, and the beach, to educate the public on plastic bag pollution. The City conducted research and outreach, with the help of local environmental groups and the Chamber of Commerce. An ordinance was drafted that requires businesses to explicitly charge for paper and plastic carryout bags to discourage the use of single-use bags and encourage the use of reusable bags. The ordinance took effect on April 22, 2017 (Earth Day).

The City of Long Beach and the Long Beach City Council would like to thank all of the organizations and individuals that assisted the City in this monumental piece of legislation, including the BYOBag Campaign, Surfrider Foundation, and All Our Energy.

Don't forget to bring your own bag next time you head to the store!