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.
As some of you may have heard, bike share is coming to Rochester. I’ve considered writing about it all sorts of ways. I thought about mentioning how many other cities have it. Or how safe it is. Or even the specific plans for Rochester (warning: PDF). As you may have already guessed, I’m not about to do any of that. Instead, I’d like to discuss what bike share has meant for me over the past decade, and what it might mean for you too.
Since 1955, Camp Haccamo has been a fun filled getaway for both adults and children with varying mental and physical disabilities. First established on Panorama Creek Drive in Penfield (just behind Panorama Plaza), Haccamo was free to the 300 plus campers per year who participated. But in 2009 camp organizers ended their relationship with the town of Penfield and moved to Rush, NY – while, oddly, leaving quite a bit of stuff behind…
Welcome back, readers. As you know, we’ve previously discussed things to do with Tops should Aldi be built at Winton Road and Blossom Road. There’s also been a discussion about how the construction of Aldi went in Irondequoit. Today, I’d like to take a look at a few reasonably simple changes that would completely change the tenor of the proposed development…
I’ve been writing Filling in Columns for over 2 years now (starting with this one on Exchange Street), and I’ve realized that it’s high time to have a discussion about my vision for the column, what I write, and why I write it…
Some of you may know that there is a shiny, new-ish, giant Wegmans in Rochester. It’s over at East and Winton. Savvier readers may know about another grocery store nary a block away (but clearly on the wrong side of the tracks!). That’s right, there’s also a Tops. In addition, it has come to my attention that there are plans for an Aldi across the street on the site containing the old Roly-door building and Jim’s. For a city with few urban grocery stores, there’s food for everyone over here…
Here’s a neat little collection of Rochester memorabilia. Matchbooks! Remember when you could buy cigarettes out of a vending machine like soda pop, and just about every business had it’s own matchbooks? Ah, those were the days * COUGH * COUGH * WEEZE * EHK! EHK! HEM… HEEEM!
These were sent to me by a reader. He says he’s not a smoker, but he’s collected them since he was a kid. And now he’d like to sell them. So if you’re interested in local oddities like this, drop me an email and we’ll hook you up with one… or the entire set.
Some of the matchbooks date from the late 1950s and early 1960s. But we think most of them are 1970s & 80s. Check them out for yourself. If you’ve lived in Rochester for any length of time you’ll probably recognize most of these businesses…
This weekend, Wegmans closed their current East Avenue store so they could transition into their new, larger building . The new store replaces a historic area that was once the center of Brighton in the 19th century. The old Village of Brighton was served by the Erie Canal (now I-490). The canal was rerouted in the early 20th century and the entire area was annexed to the City of Rochester in 1905…
You do not have to be a designer to see that Rochester has a problem—well, a number of problems, actually. That we continue to make the same mistakes, however, regarding design of our built environment, is perhaps one of the most egregious. This column highlights some of the worst offenders in Rochester—some of which are still being built…
On September 14, 1908 a new 300 room hotel with ballroom, several dining rooms and meeting rooms opened its doors – right smack on the same spot where Windstream (Paetec) is constructing its new building today.
The following article was published in the New York Times on Monday September 14, 1908…
I dropped by the Irondequoit Planning Board meeting Monday night because there were two very interesting matters on the agenda. One of those was Irondequoit Square (or I-Square) which RocSubway broke news of here last August. The other involved an all-but-forgotten friend, Chase-Pitkin…
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.