Plans to start enforcing New York state's prohibition of most uses of plastic bags have been postponed as some have expressed safety concerns about reusable bags.

The plastic bag ban legislation took effect March 1. The Department of Environmental Conservation had agreed to delay enforcement until next month in response to a lawsuit.

Now, the agency has posted a notice on its website indicating it has agreed to take no enforcement action until May 15. The announcement said delay was stipulated in an order signed Monday in New York State Supreme Court.

Questions have been raised in recent days about whether the use of reusable bags could increase the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

A group representing plastic bag manufacturers praised the state decision to further delay enforcement of the New York ban.

The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance issued a statement indicating the use of plastic bags "are indispensable and play a key role in preventing the transmission of germs, bacteria, and viruses."

It's not clear whether some store operators may start providing a plastic bag option again.

 

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