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Plastic bags will disappear from Wegmans stores this week; gone across NYS on March 1st

In a month, shoppers will need reusable bags, or pay for paper alternatives

By Josh Durso

Residents in the Finger Lakes will get their first look at changes that will be experienced equally across the board in a month.

Single-use plastic bags will be gone when shoppers head to Wegmans locations this week. It’s a change that will spread to all stores in a month – when legislation passed in 2019 is enacted.

It means that reusable bags will be the prime shopping tool. It’s something that Aldi shoppers have been accustomed to for years.

“Our family has shopped at Aldi for about five years,” Mary Parnili, a Victor resident, said on Saturday. “We were plastic bag users when we started, but the reusable bags became more convenient.”

She said that being able to put more inside them, and not having to double-bag certain products were both selling points to the bags.

If shoppers at Wegmans want to use paper bags, it will cost them five cents. Even though municipalities were able to opt-out of the five cent tax, the shopping chain decided to collect it anyway – and return those funds to local food banks.

Shoppers at Aldi stores in Ontario County were optimistic about the changes, and felt that most customers would get used to the change.

“It’s a little different, but like most things – people will get used to it,” Tom Reeves added. He was shopping with his wife at the Aldi store in Canandaigua. “Remember when everyone thought a 25 cent deposit on a shopping cart would kill business? Look around.”

The store was busy, lines were long, and shoppers were no stranger to the environment. While the shopping bag ban will be a learning curve, many are optimistic that it will change over time.

“Listen, we all forget our shopping bags from time-to-time, but after you have to buy a reusable bag, or a paper one a couple times – you’ll remember,” Reeves added.

Stores have already begun placing and selling reusable bags for between 50 cents and a dollar at different locations around the region. The law officially takes hold on March 1st.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his in December to end the Styrofoam, too. A move that will prove equally controversial if passed as part of the upcoming budget process.

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