New York state’s plastic bag ban went into effect on March 1, 2020, but the courts are giving retailers a grace period until April 1st before the fines start. The ban centers on the the thin plastic bags that you get at convenience stores, which aren’t recyclable. These single-use bags usually end up in landfills or the ocean, and the bags are hazardous to marine life. Shopping with a reusable bag is basically the bare minimum you can do for the environment, so have them on-hand before you need it.

More and more states are adopting their own version of the plastic bag bans, so it’s the perfect time to upgrade to a much sturdier and Eco-friendly reusable grocery shopping bag. You can buy them in packs of 4 or more and keep one in your car, tote, and backpack. The reusable bags are better for carrying items, and they are better for the Earth. It’s a win-win.

This stylish pack of 6 on Amazon is just $15. They are reusable, made of cloth, foldable, machine-washable, charming, and $2.50 each. That’s a great deal, and they are more comfortable to carry than the hand-squeezing, finger-numbing, plastic bags.

New York isn’t alone in phasing out plastic bags: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming, all have limits, charges, regulations, or bans on single-use plastic bags.

The plastic bag ban is expanding, so use it as the catalyst to make a small change in your life that drastically helps the environment. The fish, whales, penguins, dolphins, coral, and birds may not thank you in person, but they will enjoy less plastic in the ocean.

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