How local stores are reacting to the NY State plastic bag ban


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Starting Mar. 1 the Bag Waste Reduction Law is going into effect in New York State.

Any store required to pay the New York State Sales Tax is now prohibited from distributing plastic bags in efforts to reduce plastic bag waste.

From the Official Website of New York State:

Sales and use tax (sales tax) is applied to:

  • Tangible personal property (unless specifically exempt)
  • Gas, electricity, refrigeration and steam, and telephone service
  • Selected services
  • Food and beverages sold by restaurants, taverns, and caterers
  • Hotel occupancy
  • Certain admission charges and dues

18 News took to local grocery stores to see how customers and the stores would be dealing with these changes.

In the shops, customers frequently asked about the bags. With comments and questions such as,

“Where’s all the plastic bags?”

“Gone forever”

“There’s no bags. I have to roll it all into the car like this.”

Local Customers

The Weis assistant store manager Matt Lewis said they will have alternative options to the plastic bags.

“Customers have an option of purchasing bags,” said Lewis. “They want paper they can have it for 10 cents a bag. Again, biodegradable, they could reuse it if they wanted to. We also have reusable bags, which can basically go for about 125 uses or more.”

Weis offers:

  • Paper bags ($0.10)
  • Recycled bag ($0.50)
  • Reusable bag ($1)
  • More reusable bags with different designs (prices vary)

Save a Lot offers:

  • Paper bags ($0.06)
  • Reusable bag ($0.99)

Nearby stores were already transitioning over to reusable bags this morning.

The manager of Save a lot, Kevin Moison, doesn’t think the change will be difficult, since they sold plastic bags in the first place.

“Most of our regular customers understand that we always sold our bags or they could help themselves to boxes up front to take their groceries home,” said Moison.

They also provide boxes similar to Aldi’s and Sam’s Club for customers to pack their groceries into.

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