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On April 23, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a program bill that would ban all single-use, plastic carryout bags at any point of sale in New York State. Below is Wegmans' response to the proposal, from Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans manager of sustainability.
A plastic bag ban that doesn’t also address single-use paper bags will likely lead to an increase in the use of paper bags, which is not what’s best for the environment.
We know from experience that it’s possible to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by educating customers about reusable bags and reminding them to bring plastic bags back to our store for recycling. This, coupled with the use of plastic bags made from recycled plastic will have a much greater impact in the long run. Wegmans uses a true closed-loop recycling program. Our plastic bags are made from 40 percent recycled plastic that is returned to our stores by our own customers, and our recycling rate for plastic bags averaged close to 50 percent in 2017.
It’s important to fully understand the impact of each bagging option on the environment:
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 96-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 21 consecutive years, ranking #2 in 2018.
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