New York State plastic bag ban goes into effect Sunday

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — The day businesses and shoppers have prepared months for is finally here. The plastic bag ban for New York State grocery and retail stores officially went into effect on Sunday.

Many shoppers like Gary Norsen have gotten ahead of the ban.

“I figured out right from day one I was going to go with the paper bags and I’ll pay the nickel to feed the homeless,” said Norsen, a Wegmans customer.

Wegmans is donating the proceeds from their paper bag charge to the Food Bank of Central New York.

However, some customers are having more trouble getting into the habit, remembering they can’t rely on plastic bags at checkout anymore.

“I have a terrible memory so remembering to bring the bags is a problem for me. I’m a stop on the way home person and not having the bag kind of is like ugh. So, I have a bunch of them at home because every time I come I have to buy a new one,” said Nicole Lynk, Wegmans customer.

For those who aren’t looking to buy reusable or paper bags every trip to the store, you can simply “BYOB,” or bring your own bag.

Any bag that’s made of cloth, machine-washable fabric or non-film plastic material is good to use.

Wegmans across the Syracuse area have already done away with plastic bags, but Kinney Drugs is waiting until the last minute.

It is not because the stores aren’t prepared with reusable bags, because they are.

It is because their customers loved the famed orange bags so much.

Amanda Maxam is one of the last to go home with a Kinney’s plastic bag. So many customers are stocking up that the store on Electronics Parkway doesn’t even have any in the back.

What is left behind the counter is all that is left.

Kinney’s bags aren’t like the rest. Not only are they appropriately orange, but they are as sturdy as they come.

Customers feel like Kinney Drugs has the best bags, and even said so in the comments they submitted for a chance to win a $100 gift card,

“Let me count the ways. You held my precious purchases without breaking, fit my waist basket perfectly, carried my daughters dirty laundry home from college and groceries when she shopped from home, protected my precious Christmas ornaments year after year in your folds, walked with my dog a time or two to do what you did best-no breaks or leaks, protected my feet from rain and snow, and when I was too lazy to remove my muddy boots you didn’t care-you covered them without complaining. You’ve carried baked goods to family and friends, and I could always rely on you during their journey. I was greedy in letting people take you, offering up another useless bag instead. I knew what I had.” – Rose DiRosa.

Every single Kinney orange plastic bag will go away forever, but the company is making an exception at each store.

One will go into a frame and will be hung on the wall to pay homage to the past.

“Starting at noon, free cake, light refreshments, at local Kinney Drugs and official ceremony, hang the bag and retire them,” said Kellen Facse.

A poem from Laura also pays homage to the bags:

“The Kinney bag was the best,
Far superior to the rest.
Oh why, why, why,
I cry, cry, cry.
You’ll be sadly missed my strong friend.
I’ll share tales of your uses to the end.”

And that end has now come.

Kinney’s celebration includes a free reusable bag with 10 purchases this weekend.

On Twitter, Mayor Billy Barlow and the City of Oswego say they are offering free reusable bags at city hall.

While the ban goes into effect on March 1, the State DEC said it will wait until April 1 to impose penalties on stores that violate the ban.

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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan

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