BUFFALO, N.Y. — Wegmans will soon remove single-use plastic grocery bags from all New York stores beginning Monday, January 27.
This move is anticipation of the New York state ban that takes effect March 1, 2020.
Wegmans will shift all customers to reusable bags. Shoppers can also get paper bags, but for those that shop in counties or municipalities that have not instituted a $.05 fee for paper bags, Wegmans will charge $.05 per paper bag.
“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.”
The money collected from the paper-bag charge will be donated to a local food bank.
Wegmans recently conducted a survey of customers and found that 95% of their customers already own at least one reusable bag and 87% have three or more reusable bags.
Wegmans tested the single-use plastic bag ban at two of their stores in Corning and Ithaca and found it to be successful.
“We learned a lot from the pilot that will help ensure a smooth transition out of plastic bags in the rest of our New York stores for our customers and employees,” added Wadsworth.