ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — The State Department of Environmental Conservation released their final regulations to implement the New York plastic bag ban on Monday.
In a press release DEC representatives said they completed a 60-day public comment period. They received more than 2,500 comments which were used to refine the ban to ensure a smooth transition come March 1.
Wegmans already removed plastic bags in January, but what about the smaller, family-owned grocery stores here in Western New York?
2 On Your Side reached out to some area stores to find out when they plan to make the transition.
Lexington Cooperative Market - On Sunday both Lexington Co-op locations in Buffalo removed plastic bags. In a press release, the store encouraged the use of reusable bags.
Market in the Square - A store manager told 2 On Your Side over the phone the store plans to remove plastic bags by the March 1 deadline.
Dash's Market - A store manager over the phone said each location in Buffalo, Tonawanda, Williamsville and Clarence will remove plastic bags by the March 1 deadline.
Braymiller Market - A store employee over the phone said there is no plan in place to implement the change before the March 1 deadline.
A couple store leaders said implementation is dependent on when their plastic bag inventory runs out which could be before March.
The DEC said New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags every year and approximately 85 percent of them end up in landfills, waterways, and streets.
The DEC is currently distributing hundreds of thousands of reusable bags across the state with the help of various agencies.
In Erie County, you can buy a paper bag, but it's going to cost you 5 cents each with the money going to local communities, the state, or our local food banks.