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Fees for paper bags should be used to support environmental causes (Your Letters).

Fees for paper bags should be used to support environmental causes (Your Letters).

To the Editor:

Geoff Herbert’s article Wegmans to eliminate plastic bags from all stores by 2022 (April 17,2022) is a great read. Wegmans deserves praise for not only taking the ban on plastic bags seriously in New York, but in all its stores. Wegmans continues to receive single-use, clean plastic bags outside its stores.

The Bag Reduction LawThis law is first and foremost an environment law. It is designed to reduce plastic bag production and usage as a single-use plastic derived from fossil fuels. These bags are made from recycled plastic. We are all at risk of having devastating effects on the environment.

The Bag Waste Reduction Law, which was first challenged and then upheld by New York State Supreme Court, became effective March 1, 2020. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), enforcing it effective Aug. 19, 2020. The DEC provides Information for consumers and businessesThe law was successfully adopted and many shoppers have become used to reusable bags or do without.

A paper is a lesser-known component of the law. Carryout bag reduction fee. The option was offered to counties and cities to opt in to collect money for paper bags. 40% of fees collected go to purchasing and distribution of reusable bags. Priority goes to the most economically disadvantaged and low-income communities. Any funds that are left go to the Environmental Protection Fund. It is not clear where the fees collected from paper bags at the register go for those who did not opt in. Wegmans or other businesses that collect money to buy paper bags may want to donate to the Environmental Protection Fund and another environmental organization to keep the law in its original spirit.

Dr. Sonia Y Kragh

See Also

Member, Dewitt Advisory Conservation Commission


Also available in Opinion Wegmans should get rid of plastic produce packaging (Your Letters).

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