ROCHESTER – Wegmans says they will remove single-use plastic grocery bags from all of its stores in New York State by the end of the month.
The Rochester based grocery chain made the announcement Monday. The removal comes ahead of a state ban that takes effect on March 1.
The store plans to stop handing out plastic bags by Monday, January 27. At stores where the county or municipality choose not to institute a 5-cent fee for paper bags, Wegmans will charge 5 cent per bag. That amount collected will be donated to local food banks.
“By adding a charge for each paper bag, our hope it to incentizive the adoption of reusable bags, and in time, achieve our goal of eliminating all single-use bags,” Wegmans packaging and sustainability manager Jason Wadsworth in a statement.
“On average today, 20% of the bags used across all Wegmans stores are reusable. However, at our pilot stores in Corning and Ithaca, we’ve flipped that statistic so that only 20% of the bags used are single-use bags.”
Wegmans first introduced reusable bags in 2007. According to a statement, Wegmans issued a company wide survey of its customers and found that 95% already own at least one reusable bag and 87% have three or more.