As plas­tic bag ban ad­vances, shop­pers won­der: Now what?

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE -

of Or­chard Park. “It’s prob­a­bly one of those things where, af­ter a while, you just get used to it. Peo­ple were prob­a­bly re­ally ticked at the bot­tle de­posit, and now it’s just a way of life.”

Re­tail­ers con­tend an out­right ban would be costly for stores and have un­in­tended neg­a­tive con­se­quences for the en­vi­ron­ment.

Un­der the lat­est plan on the mat­ter, plas­tic bags would be banned out­right. But coun­ties and cities would be given an op­tion for a nickel fee on any pa­per bag pro­vided to con­sumers; 60 per­cent of the rev­enues would go to the state’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Fund and 40 per­cent would go to the county or city en­act­ing the pa­per bag fee. The lo­cal­i­ties can use the rev­enues to pur­chase and dis­trib­ute re­us­able bags, mostly for low-in­come res­i­dents.

A num­ber of carve-outs are in­cluded in the plas­tic bag ban, such as peo­ple en­rolled in the SNAP and WIC low-in­come pro­grams who would be ex­empt from the charge. Also, plas­tic bags could still be given to con­sumers to hold pre­scrip­tion drugs, news­pa­pers, and items such as sand­wich meat sliced to or­der at gro­cery stores. Also, plas­tic garbage, gar­ment and res­tau­rant take­out plas­tic bags will still be per­mit­ted.

Jo Natale, a Weg­mans spokesper­son, said a plas­tic bag ban would have a “sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial im­pact” on the gro­cery in­dus­try.

“A plas­tic bag ban that doesn’t

Bag on Page A6

“I’m not op­posed to the 5-cent charge, to keep the en­vi­ron­ment clean. It’s prob­a­bly one of those things where, af ter a while, you get used to it.” – Michelle Camp­bell

Robert Kirkham/Buf­falo News

Plas­tic bags fill a shop­per’s cart at the Weg­mans on Tran­sit Road in Depew on Thurs­day. Re­tail­ers say an out­right ban on plas­tic bags will pose a ma­jor fi­nan­cial im­pact and may have un­in­tended con­se­quences for the en­vi­ron­ment.

New York Times file photo

Assem­bly Speaker Carl Heastie doesn’t have votes to pass cam­paign bill.

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