SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The New York State plastic bag ban went into effect March 1st and the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency is working to help shoppers make the transition away from single use plastic bags.
“New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags annually-each for about 12 minutes-and approximately 85 percent of this staggering total ends up in landfills, recycling machines, waterways, and streets,” according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
OCRRA has partnered with the grocery store Tops to give away 1,000 free reusable bags at two of their stores in the month of March.
Recycling Specialist Theresa Evans says that its a bit of an inconvenience to change your habits, and that proved to be true at yesterday’s event at the Downer Street Tops location. On more than one occasion customers walked into the store, were greeted by Evans offering them a plastic bag, and responded with something along the lines of, “oh perfect! I forgot mine.”
Evans was also able to answer any recycling questions customers may have and distributed pamphlets on what can be recycled in Onondaga County.
Chad Mack, store manager of the Downer Street Tops, said that for the most part customers have been pretty receptive of the switch.
For people who forget their bags and don’t want to purchase new ones the store is offering reusable bags at five cents a piece. The earnings from these bags will go to local charities including Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
OCRRA will be distributing bags at the Shop City Plaza Tops location on Friday, March 13, from 11a.m. until 2 p.m. or when bags run out.