Starting today, plastic bags aren’t an option when you check out at Wegmans stores in Ithaca and Corning. Wegmans set their goal to eliminate plastic bags by the end of this year although New York’s ban on the bags doesnt take effect until March 2020.
Jason Wadsworth is the company’s manager of Packaging and Sustainability. He says it will help them learn best bagging practices and how best to educate customers on the change.
"We know we have a lot to learn and a lot to help our customers learn along this journey," Wadsworth said.
"And why not start early?"
Now these two stores will not offer plastic bags. Wegmans is hoping customers will remember their reusable bags.
In the meantime, they’ll offer paper bags for five cents each. The money will be donated to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
Wadsworth says paper is not necessarily better than plastic.
"It takes trees to produce. Because it’s heavier it takes more trucks to transport. It takes seven trucks to transport the same number of paper bags as it 1 truckload of plastic bags."
Wegmans and some other grocers are working on ways to be more sustainable. For instance, Aldi, who actually has never offered “single-use bags” at check out, has committed to making all their packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.