Wegmans testing plastic bag ban at Ithaca and Corning locations


ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR) — Plastic bags are no longer offered at Wegmans stores in Ithaca and Corning. They’re trying it out there before the entire state bans plastic bags next March.

“What we spend on groceries, what’s a few more to not have to deal with the plastic bags? And these are so convenient,” said Brigette Wintermute, a Wegmans shopper from Ithaca.

A short-term price hoping for long-term results.

“If we think about the consumption of the plastic that we’re using and where it all goes, I mean, it’s almost unreal to fathom,” Wintermute said.

While some people think this is a good change, others say had no idea they now have to dish out five cents for every brown bag and 99 cents for every reusable one. Money some people are not ready to spend.

“I’m a senior citizen and I’m on a fixed income. And when you’re on a fixed income, you plan what goes to where and to me, you know, I had to come up with five or six bags,” said Kathy Thomas, a shopper and a small business owner.

Thomas and her husband use the plastic bags for many things outside of the grocery store. They come in handy when it comes to kitty litter, trash cans, and most importantly, their small business.

“Yes, I know it’s supposed to be user-friendly for the environment, but I’m sorry, there has to be an alternative. And coming today, I did not know that this was going to be in effect today,” Thomas said.

Some viewers have asked whether customers who receive government assistance will be charged five cents for paper bags. Wegmans has said yes, and there are no plans for a reusable bag giveaway.

Wegmans also released a statement, saying in part:

“We are determined to do what’s right by encouraging all of our customers to switch to reusable bags, the best option to solve the environmental challenge of single-use grocery bags. A consequence of a plastic bag ban will be an increase in the use of paper bags, which for a host of reasons, are bad for the environment. In stores where a small fee is charged, reusable bag usage goes up dramatically. if, together, we can make that happen in our 46 New York state stores, it will have an immeasurable environmental impact for decades to come.”

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