Vendors at the public market get ready for plastic bag ban

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) –  Vendors at the Rochester Public Market can still use plastic bags for things like produce and unwrapped meats, although many are already encouraging their customers to bring their own bag for every purchase.

Vendors at the public market will still be able to use the plastic bags they have stocked up and will continue use for things like produces and raw meat but many say they are more than prepared for the plastic bag ban and many think its a good step for the environment.

Treva Bryan will still be able to package her kettle corn in plastic bags, but the state plastic bag ban could impact her customers.

“We have to package it and to sell to the customers. So it won’t affect us in any way the plastic bag ban as far as that goes, but it does affect us in providing carrying bags for the customers. After they purchase the product, they like to place it inside, to carry with them, said Treva Bryan, owner of Christy’s Old Fashioned Kettle Corn.

The New York State Plastic Bag Waste Reduction act goes into effect on March 1.

The goal, to reduce the estimated 23 billion plastic bags used annually by New Yorkers, according to officials.

Under the new act, any single-use plastic bags are banned from stores, with exemptions for those used for unwrapped food, produce bulk items, and similar items. The act also allows for cities and counties to charge 5 cents for each paper carryout bag provided at checkout.

For Rhian Wilson, she’ll have a stock of bags in case customers are in need but the ban could be a business opportunity.

“We do have a little stock of them that would be leftover, probably just use them to they run out or if there’s a place we could bring them. But maybe we could even get bags here that we could sell for people to use that are reusable,” said Rhian Wilson, part owner at The Wilson Produce stand.

And Bryan is already reminding customers of what could happen if you forget.

“It happens all the time down here. You see apples, lemons, onions rolling down the isle definitely bring a heavier duty bag with you,” said Bryan.

The public market is offering a discount on reusable bags to help shoppers get ready for the plastic bag ban.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation is launching a campaign called #BYObagNY to spread education on these new regulations. Part of the campaign will include distributing more than 27-hundred-thousand reusable bags.

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