Wegmans to Eliminate Plastic Bags on January 27

Will charge 5 cents per paper bag

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(WBEN) - Wegmans is planning on eliminating plastic bags from their stores over a month before a state-wide ban goes in to place.

In a news release on Monday, Wegmans said that they will remove single-use plastic grocery bags from all its New York State stores on Monday, January 27. The state ban takes effect on March 1.

Before making the decision, Wegmans ran a two-store pilot program at its Corning and Ithaca stores.

Wegmans also said that at stores where the county or municipality choose not to institute a 5-cent fee for paper bags, including Erie County, they will still 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, in a statement. “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.”

Wegmans says it hopes to reduce its plastic footprint significantly, by 10 million pounds, over the next five years.

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