SYRACUSE, N.Y (NCC NEWS)-The plastic bag ban went into effect across New York State on Monday, causing trouble for many small grocery stores.
Green Planet Grocery in Camillus is a small, family owned store. They sell low-waste, organic products.
“Our philosophy is no artificial ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, none of the worst ingredients,” owner Owen Lewis said. “So our main mission is having groceries accessible without having to look at labels.”
But for the past few months, the plastic bag ban has been delayed due to lawsuits and the pandemic. The store was forced to use plastic bags again.
But once the ban went into effect Green Planet had trouble getting paper bags to replace those plastic bags.
“The usual suppliers sold out to bigger chains who needed to convert over quickly,” Lewis said. “They needed to convert over quickly so they bought most of the supply.”
Because Green Planet has had trouble getting paper bags they turned to another form of recycling.
“One thing we have been doing is we started increasing the number of boxes we give people,” Lewis said. So re-purposing boxes that come in from when we get things in.”
The store has hundreds of boxes stacked throughout the store. They even had to close their café to make room for all of the boxes.
“People use them for groceries, some people use them to move,” cashier Nigel Salas said. “So we go through them pretty quickly actually.”
Salas mentioned that they go through on average about a 150 boxes a day. Mostly because customers forget their re-usable bags.
“They bring them, but they just don’t bring them into the store,” Salas said. It’s kind of a weird habit to get into, but I don’t blame them for it.”
The store encourages customers to bring their re-usable bags into the store but also provides the boxes just in case.
They say it’s just one way to reduce, re-use, and recycle.