SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC NEWS)— “Paper or plastic?” This is a question many people have been asked when buying groceries. But, after New York passed its state budget on Sunday, the latter will no longer be an option. As part of its annual budget, New York banned plastic bags which will go into effect in March of next year.
The Empire State joins California as the only states to have an outright ban on plastic bags. This new ban will have impacts on many businesses as it will change how customers carry out merchandise from their stores.
Some Central New York businesses have already taken steps forward to eliminate plastic bag use in order to be more environmentally friendly. For example, the Syracuse Cooperative Market has not used plastic bags for the past few years.
The market’s produce manager, Stephanie Newkirk, thinks stores like hers will see increased business because they are already implementing the policy.
“They’ve been doing this for however many years and I think that is important to consumers when they find that out about a business,” Newkirk said, when talking about businesses who are ahead of the game when it comes to plastic bags.
Newkirk also believes that it goes beyond other grocery stores offering nothing but paper bags, they should encourage customers to use alternatives to carry their groceries.
“Paper bags do not always withstand weather and other things… Bringing your own bags can be important,” Newkirk said .
She added that while paper is a better alternative it does not serve all of the purposes eco-friendly reusable bags can.
While businesses do have until next year to officially put the new policy into place, Newkirk said it is important for businesses to understand why this is being put into place.