Wegman's announces date for elimination of plastic bags

January 6, 2020
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Wegmans has announced they will remove single-use plastic grocery bags from all its New York State stores on Monday, January 27. The removal of plastic bags comes ahead of a state ban that takes effect on March 1.

Wegmans’ goal is to shift all customers to reusable bags. At stores where the county or municipality choose not to institute a 5-cent fee for paper bags, Wegmans will charge 5 cents per bag. The amount collected from the paper-bag charge will be donated to the local food bank serving each region.

“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,” said Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans packaging and sustainability manager. “This approach has proven successful at our two-store pilot. On average today, 20% of the bags used across all Wegmans stores are reusable. However, at our pilot stores in Corning and Ithaca, we’ve flipped that statistic so that only 20% of the bags used are single-use bags.” A recent companywide survey of Wegmans customers found that 95% already own at least one reusable bag, and 87% have three or more. For those customers who regularly use reusable bags, their top three reasons for choosing them over single-use, in addition to the environmental benefits, are sturdiness, handles, and ease of packing.