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Wegmans pulls plug on plastic bags in this state

Ban Plastic Bags

Wegmans stores in New York state will no longer offer free plastic bags.

The move Monday to cut single-use plastics comes as a new law, set to take effect March 1, looks to ban the use of plastic bags statewide and push shoppers toward reusable options.

“By adding a charge for each paper bag, our hope is to incentivize the adoption of reusable bags, and in time, achieve our goal of eliminating all single-use bags,” Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans packaging and sustainability manager, said in a press release earlier this month.

According to a report by the BBC, nearly 80 million tons of plastic packaging are produced around the world each year. And the Marine Pollution Bulletin in a study estimated that plastic waste costs around $33,000 per ton in related environmental expenditures.

Wegmans wants those figures to be lower and thinks its customers are on board. Since the chain, which brought in $9 billion in revenue in 2018, introduced alternative, reusable bags in Corning and Ithaca, New York, they accounted for 80 percent of all bags used.

And, according to the release, 95 percent of Wegmans shoppers own a reusable bag.

Wegmans isn’t the only store to eliminate single-use plastics. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon and Vermont have levied bans as well, impacting big-box chains there, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Shoppers can purchase reusable bags at Wegmans for as little as 99 cents and the store will donate the profits to local food pantries.


This article was originally published on

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