State law requires that all stores providing plastic carry out bags to customers must accept the same type of plastic carryout bag provided for recycling. Exceptions include stores less than 5,000 square feet or any non-chain store less than 10,000 square feet.

You can recycle plastic bags at large stores, shopping malls, and at medium to large chain stores. Plastic bags that are being returned should be free of debris.

All plastic bag recycling bins should be easily visible. 

Retailers covered by this law must also provide reusable bags for purchase. The City does not set prices for reusable bags.

Learn more about plastic bag recycling requirements and resources for businesses.

You can report a store that does not accept plastic bags for recycling.

  • Agency: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Division: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Tip Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 847-7332
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week