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Tops Markets relaxing plastic bag rules during pandemic

Wegmans has no plans to follow suit
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Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 13:49:52-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York's ban on single use plastic bags is still in effect but at least one grocery store chain is finding the banned bags useful during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help facilitate sanitization efforts, Tops will temporarily not enforce the ban, as many see reusable bags as a potential way to spread the coronavirus. New York State has also delayed enforcement of the new law until May 15th.

At Tops locations, if a customer brings in a reusable bag but does not bag their own groceries, the cashier will bag their groceries in paper or plastic bags. There will be no additional cost for the plastic bags.

A Tops representative says this policy will remain in place until further notice.

A spokesperson for Wegmans says the chain will not be making changes to its operations.

"As of now, we have no plans to go back to plastic bags," said Michele Mehaffy, Buffalo Consumer Affairs manager for Wegmans. "We highly encourage our customers to clean their reusable bags after each use."