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Adapting to a change on the shopping landscape

Statewide ban on plastic bags in effect March 1

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Adaptability appears to be the key word in speaking with supermarkets and customers regarding the state plastic bag ban that will go into effect on March 1.

Under the new law that was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April of last year, all throwaway plastic bags will no longer be available at supermarkets and other retail stores in the state. Counties had the option of allowing stores to sell paper bags for five cents each but Nassau did not opt in.

Stores in the area have begun to prepare for the new law. Beginning on Feb. 22, Stop and Shop will have information tables set up at their stores across the state to answer questions about the ban. They will also give away reusable bags to customers.

Stop and Shop President Gordon Reid and Shop said in a statement that the company is trying to get customers to use reusable bags. “Sustainability is a priority at Stop and Shop, as we’re committed to encouraging the use of reusable bags and to helping our customers make the transition to them,” he said. “By charging five cents for paper, we’re encouraging our customers to make the switch to reusable bags.”

Gourmet Glatt in Cedarhurst is known for their yellow-colored plastic bags. Store manager, Ash Cohen, said the kosher supermarket is adjusting to the new law. “While Gourmet Glatt has become synonymous with the yellow bag, we are in full cooperation with the new law,” Cohn said. “We will provide paper bags and Gourmet Glatt boxes for sale as well as reusable tote bags for sale.”

Cohn added that he anticipates that the store and customers will need some time to adapt to the new regulation. “I’m sure it will be an adjustment in the beginning but I expect it to be a smooth transition beyond the first few weeks,” he said. “We also welcome our customers to bring in whatever bags they would like to use.

Some residents have already embraced the ban. Woodmere resident Joe Brandsdorfer said it was long overdue. “I’m so happy to see this change,” Brandsdorfer said. “Given what our landfills and oceans look like, this law should’ve gone into effect years ago.

Hewlett resident Abby Rose Dalto said that while she’s not opposed to the ban, she believes there is more to do in regards to eco-friendliness. “Banning single use plastics like bags and straws and water bottles isn’t a bad thing, but in my opinion, it’s not really the solution everyone acts like it is,” Dalto said. “We can’t just ban products without coming up with better alternatives.” 

She said that coming up with alternatives begins with corporations and plastic producers. “The onus is put on consumers to stop using this product or on stores to stop providing this product instead of the responsibility being on the plastic producers instead, to come up with eco-friendly alternatives,” Dalto said. “So it’s not that banning plastic bags is a bad idea. I just feel like it will make the tiniest of dents in a much bigger problem with much bigger culprits.”