(WIVB) — Wegmans stores across New York State are no longer carrying single-use plastic bags.
The change was made a month ahead of the upcoming statewide ban, which takes effect March 1st.
Monday morning, many customers came to Wegmans, re-usable bags in hand. “I use them all the time anyway, nothing new for me,” said customer, Marybeth Scott of Buffalo.
But for others, this change is going to be a bit of a learning curve. “I really didn’t think about it,” said Buffalo resident Daniel Bolden. ” When I got here I was like, ‘Oh man. I forgot my bags!'”
If you forget, you can purchase a reusable bag for 99 cents at the checkout. Or you can opt to have your groceries packed up in paper bags, each one costing 5 cents.
Wegmans has decided to impose the fee because paper costs more than plastic. The company plans to ultimately eat that cost because it will be donating 100 percent of it to local food banks, like Feedmore WNY.
However if you use Instacart you will not be charged for paper bags, since you don’t have a choice on how their groceries are packed.
It’s also important to note, plastic produce bags are staying. They are not part of the ban.
Most customers say they didn’t experience lines any longer than usual. And many think the change will be a positive one.
“I think it’s ultimately going to be something good,” said Scott. “I think it’s going to take a couple minutes to get used to.”
The unused plastic bags are being sent back to Rochester headquarters. They will be given to Wegmans in other states without a ban.
Tops Markets will continue using plastic bags through March 1st.