Sunday, March 1 marks the start of New York State’s ban on single-use plastic shopping bags.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation, the governor’s office and Feeding New York State are working to help ease the cost of buying reusable bags on some residents by distributing BYOBAGs to partner agencies.

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier received bags from the D.E.C. February 28 to help ease the cost to low-to-moderate income residents in the region.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation to do away with plastic shopping bags on Earth Day 2019 and several grocery store chains have been attempting to ease customers into remembering to bring reusable bags to the store for several weeks.  Wegmans initiated its own ban on plastic weeks before this Sunday’s deadline.

State officials say New Yorkers use about 23-billion plastic bags a year and about 85 percent of those end up in landfills, recycling facilities or, most problematically, clogging waterways, polluting roadsides and caught in trees.

Information about what bags are affected and other facts can be found at the D.E.C. website: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50034.html and by calling (518) 402-8706.