Wegmans: Bag Ban Environmentally Ineffective

ROCHESTER – Wegmans officials say Gov. Cuomo’s proposed plastic bag ban doesn’t address single-use paper bags and thus will be ineffective in helping the environment.
Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans manager of sustainability, said a plastic bag ban that doesn’t also address single-use paper bags will likely lead to an increase in the use of paper bags, which is not what’s best for the environment.
“We know from experience that it’s possible to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by educating customers about reusable bags and reminding them to bring plastic bags back to our store for recycling. This, coupled with the use of plastic bags made from recycled plastic will have a much greater impact in the long run” Wadsworth said. ” Wegmans uses a true closed-loop recycling program. Our plastic bags are made from 40 percent recycled plastic that is returned to our stores by our own customers, and our recycling rate for plastic bags averaged close to 50 percent in 2017.”
He discussed the impact of bag use on the environment.
Increasing the use of reusable bags is by far the best way to reduce the number of paper and plastic bags being used,” he said.” However, it’s important to consider the additional resources it takes to manufacture reusable bags. If not used by consumers on a regular basis to replace paper or plastic bags, reusable bags are not better for the environment, and they are also not recyclable.”
He went ion to explain plastic bags are the second-best option for the environment when looking at the science. They are made from natural gas, not oil, and are very light compared to reusable and paper bags, requiring fewer trucks for transportation.
Paper, however, is the least preferred option, he said, because paper bags are heavier and take up more space; it takes seven tractor-trailers to transport the same number of paper bags as plastic bags carried by one tractor-trailer, he said. It also takes about 90 percent more resources and energy to make and recycle paper compared to plastic. Due to the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, paper is also very harmful to our waterways. And while paper bags are biodegradable, they won’t actually biodegrade if they end up in a landfill because of a lack of oxygen.

1 Comment

  1. Very hard to carry paper bags and there have been reports of bugs where they are glued together.Who wants to carry roaches etc. into their homes?

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