"Would you like paper of plastic?"
It's a question that's been asked in the check-out line for decades at grocery stores, but come next year, plastic bags will likely be a thing of the past when shopping in New York State.
The State Assembly and Senate have agreed to add Governor Andrew Cuomo's ban on plastic bags to the state budget. For shoppers in Western New York, it's a mixed bag of emotions.
"I don't care if it's paper or plastic," said one shopper at Dash's Markets in Amherst.
Mark Mahoney is the President of Dash's Markets. He says the plastic bag ban is going to be tough on local grocery store chains because it's going to increase costs.
Mahoney says the bags will cost the grocery stores five times the amount that plastic bags cost.
That's not all, as part of the ban you'll be asked to pay five cents for every paper bag you use. The money will go to New York's Environmental Protection Fund.
Tops sent the following statement to 7 Eyewitness News:
“Tops Friendly Markets has always and will continue to abide by any legislation set forth by the communities we serve. We are, however, very concerned with the negative impact that this proposed legislation will have by imposing costs on consumers in New York and the businesses that serve them. We hope the state lawmakers reconsider the approach and allow retailers to participate in helping to design a constructive, sustainable legislative solution.
At Tops we have always been at the forefront of environmental responsibility through many actions that include recycling more than 20,000 tons of plastic, paper and cardboard annually. To learn more about Tops sustainability efforts please visit topsmarkets.com/Sustainability.”
Wegmans sent the following statement:
Our thinking on this issue has always been the same: reusable bags are the best way to solve the challenges of single-use checkout bags, and a growing number of our customers are opting to use them. A plastic bag ban that doesn’t also address the use of paper bags is not a sustainable solution. Just one implication, and there are others: It takes 7 tractor trailers to transport the same number of paper bags as plastic bags carried by one tractor trailer.