Most Rochesterians can’t imagine life without Wegmans. But soon, they’ll all need to remember their reusable grocery bags when they make a shopping trip — or else they’ll end up paying the price.
That’s because the chain has finally set the date of their plastic bag ban, ahead of New York State’s own that goes into effect on March 1. Starting on January 27, Wegmans shoppers statewide will no longer have access to the single use plastic bags they’ve grown accustomed to using (and adding to a growing collection in the hall closet).
While we rely on plastics for a variety of applications in our everyday lives, such as the durable plastics created through the reaction injection molding process, single use plastics are being heavily targeted for their wastefulness. While 88% of the world’s steel is recycled, single use plastics are known to be harmful to the environment. We currently use 23 billion plastic bags each year, but researchers state that these bags never really decompose. This has prompted states like California to ban these single use plastic bags outright — and New York followed suit.
But until now, New York residents weren’t exactly sure when their shopping routines would be disrupted. You won’t be able to walk into a store, load your cart with personal care items (many of which contain oils in concentrations of 1-99%) and prepared food, and expect to be given grocery bags for free. Wegmans previously announced the chain would be getting rid of the bags (other than plastic bags used for uncooked meat, sliced and prepared foods, bulk products, prescription drugs, carry-out orders, and newspapers) prior to the statewide ban, but now, some residents are scrambling to get their reusable bags in order so that they won’t be forced to pay a fee.
That’s right: if you forget your own bags, you’ll need to pay a fee — if you’re in a county or municipality that’s opted into that corresponding program, that is. Wegmans will charge five cents per paper bag where applicable. Instacart shoppers will not be charged extra for paper bags, since they do not have the option of providing their own reusable ones. But before you make assumptions about where that money is going, you should know that the chain plans to donate those proceeds to local food banks in areas that have not opted into the statewide five-cent charge program. In the areas that have opted in, two cents from each bag will go towards local government, while three cents will be diverted to New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund.
That said, many advocates have pointed out that paper bags and even reusable plastic options are not necessarily better for the enviornment and that some of the guidelines show a lack of understanding about the issues at-hand.
Still, that won’t stop the wheels of progress from turning — or keep you from needing to invest in reusable shopping bags. There are plenty of options available (there are even ones you can buy right at Wegmans), but most people will want bags that are washable and sturdy enough to carry all of that fresh food without worry. Although the number of fast-food restaurants throughout the U.S. has more than doubled since the 1970s, having the right kind of reusable bags can make it that much easier to shop for healthy itemsand support environmental initiatives. It’ll just take some getting used to — and likely a couple of extra trips back to the car to retrieve the bags you forgot in the trunk.
Howard Nielsen, owner of Sticky Lips BBQ, is currently in the process of renovating the 33,000 square foot building at the corner of Culver and Atlantic. He plans to rebrand the complex into a neighborhood entertainment district called “Photo City Junction” (derived from Rochester’s history in film and camera manufacturing).
Last week Nielsen went to New York City to speak at the NY State Wage Board hearings. He says his concerns for New York State’s proposed minimum wage increase led him to represent business owners like himself. Nielsen sent a copy of his speech from June 15 to RochesterSubway.com. Here it is in its entirety…
At a cost to the New York taxpayer of just about half that of the Louisiana Purchase fourteen years earlier, “Clinton’s Ditch” faced the ageless and indestructible rancor of the New York State Legislature and the animosity of the press statewide. It is hard to overstate the impact the investment taxpayers made in building the canal had on the development of Rochester and New York State. Now, it is almost impossible to imagine a project like the canal ever being built in today’s political climate and maybe that is not such a good thing. In this edition of Wear to Where we stop by Lock 33 and ask, “What’s the big idea?”…
If you’re a New York motorist you’ve probably heard about Albany’s latest attempt to use your wallet to fix their budget gap. Beginning in May 2010 you may be required to buy a new set of plates for your ride (starting at $25). I say “may” because this is not a done-deal and lawmakers just might buckle under the pressure from protesters and decide against the whole idea. But if Patterson has his way, your car may soon be adorned with lovely new blue and gold plates… GAG!
Perhaps being a graphic designer disqualifies me from passing judgement, but based solely on the proposed design, I say this is a bad idea. But let’s take an informal poll…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.