ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Beginning March 1st, plastic bags will no longer be provided at grocery stores and other retail outlets to shoppers in New York State.
The bag waste reduction law states that all plastic carryout bags (other than an exempt bag) are banned from distribution by anyone required to collect New York State sales tax.
Instead of throwing away your used plastic bags, one local community center, could use them.
“We do give people canned goods, as well, when they need it. We don’t really have any bags,” said Jeremy Cranmer, Executive Director of Transformation Center.
“We give people free meat sometimes on Thursdays. Just giving a package of meat is hard, so giving them a bag to go with it, that’s just an awesome thing to have,” said Cranmer.
Transformation Center provides weekly dinners to people in need, every Thursday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Volunteers who come to serve during the dinners normally use boxes or don’t have enough bags to transport food.
“I think that would be a great idea. We could store them in a bin, and easily hand them out,” said Debbie Sebura, Vice President of the Board of Transformation Center.
“People do donate canned goods to us and those come in just a bag, and then we have to distribute them, so one bag doesn’t go very far,” said Sebura.
According to the NYC Department of Sanitation, in New York City alone, residents use more than 10 billion single-use carryout bags every year, which racks up more than $12 million annually in disposal costs.
If you would like to donate your plastic bags, visit the Transformation Center at 314 West Church Street from Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.