Wegmans will ditch plastic bags by Jan. 27 Wegmans will ditch plastic bags by Jan. 27
The statewide ban on single-use plastic bags begins on March 1, but if you shop at Wegmans, you need to start using those reusable... Wegmans will ditch plastic bags by Jan. 27

The statewide ban on single-use plastic bags begins on March 1, but if you shop at Wegmans, you need to start using those reusable bags early.

That’s because Wegmans plans to ditch plastic bags by the end of this month. News10NBC talked to shoppers at the Wegmans located at 1750 East Ave. in Rochester.

That’s where we met Susan Gasparino. And when she goes grocery shopping, she fills the cart.

That’s because she’s shopping for a family of six: Mom, Dad, three kids and a schnauzer puppy. So she needs lots of reusable bags, and she doesn’t mind one bit.

“If we just get in the habit of leaving them [reusable bags] in the car so they’re there every time we need them, we’re going to be good. I think it’s a small change we can make that does a lot of good,” Gasparino said.

That’s the belief of Wegmans leaders who are ditching the plastic early, on Jan. 27. That’s more than a month before the statewide ban goes into effect.

“We’re trying to encourage people to start with reusable bags now so when the law does come into effect they’re accustomed to it,” Tony Carnevale, a Wegmans manager said.

“I’m not looking forward to it at all,” Latoya Robinson, a Wegmans shopper, said.

She’s worried about the possible transfer of bacteria in a reusable bag.

“I don’t like the bag ban.  I feel like when I buy meat and things I don’t want to have to wash out bags,” Robinson said. She also points out the plastic bags are used for more than groceries.

“Garbage a lot of the time. Even just to carry little things out of the house,” she said, referring to other uses for the plastic bags.

“I use them all the time,” shopper Liane Stevens said. “I have three big dogs, enough said.”  But despite that, she still supports the plastic bag ban.

“It’s a good thing,” she said smiling broadly.

News10NBC talked to shoppers at the East Ave. Wegmans for an hour. And overwhelmingly, they supported the plastic bag ban, even though they’ll be charged a nickel a bag for a paper bag.

“Yeah, I think it’s great!” shopper Brittany Pieters said. “I also think styrofoam should be banned, to-go containers at restaurants, that’s another big one. So what I do is I bring my own when I’m going out to eat because I always need leftover bins.”

And you can’t get much more environmentally conscious than shopper Denise Kovnat.

“It’s a good thing to help our fellow creatures and our environment,” she said. “It’s a very wonderful thing to do that. So consider yourself lucky that you can pitch in!”

Kovnat also drives an electric Prius, so there’s no doubting her commitment to the environment.

Whether you share her belief that we’re lucky to be a part of the plastic bag ban movement, soon that plastic will be no more. So grab that reusable bag before you head to your favorite Wegmans.

Wegmans leaders tell News10NBC they’ll donate the paper bag fee to Foodlink. As for Tops, they’re waiting until the statewide ban takes effect on March 1st. They, too, will charge customers a nickel per paper bag.

— WHEC

Christopher Dupree

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