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Wegmans lists concerns about proposal to ban single-use plastic bags


Wegmans is responding to Governor  Andrew Cuomo’s proposal this week to ban single-use plastic bags.

The supermarket chain has some concerns with that concept. Cuomo says that a ban on single-use plastic carryout bags will significantly reduce waste and environmental impacts. 

But Wegmans officials say it’s important to fully understand the impact that the various bagging options would have on the environment. 

Jason Wadsworth, who is the supermarket company’s manager of sustainability, says that a plastic bag ban does not address the likely increase in the use of paper bags.

He says that paper bags are heavier and take up more space, which increases the number of trucks needed to transport grocery bags. Wadsworth also notes that it takes about 90 percent more resources and energy to make and recycle paper compared to plastic.

Wegmans position is that increasing the use of reusable bags is the best way to reduce the number of paper and plastic bags being used. The company also notes that its plastic bags are made from 40 percent recycled plastic.

A statement from Tops Friendly Markets says that company will continue to abide by any legislation set forth by the communities they serve. Officials say Tops has ramped up its plastic bag recycling efforts over the last few years.

Tops says it is encouraging the use of the insulated bags outside of the usual grocery shopping for other activities, such as picnics and the beach, in place of plastic bags.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.