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Stewart's Shops latest to eliminate plastic bags, but environmental advocates say state is not banning them all

Feb 03, 2020 12:45 am
The Albany Business Review reports that Stewart's Shops aren't giving away plastic bags with purchases any longer, ahead of a state law that goes into effect March 1 banning the bags. Instead, Stewart's Shops will sell paper bags for a nickel, and reusable bags for 99 cents. PriceChopper/Market 32 and Hannaford have also stopped giving out plastic bags. Last year Stewart's Shops officials say they gave out 250 plastic bags per shop, per day, for about 30 million bags for the year. Statewide, retail stores hand out 23 billion plastic bags each year. Chad Arnold reports for the Democrat and Chronicle that environmental advocates warn that the state's Department of Environmental Conservation is not actually banning all plastic bags March 1. Bags thicker than 10 mils are allowed under the new regulations, "The Department of Environmental Conservation, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, decided to allow for 10 mil plastic bags," Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency said. "They do not have the legal authority to do that." The dry cleaning and newspaper industries also have exemptions to use plastic bags under the regulations. Trash bags and plastic bags used for wrapping produce and meats are also allowed. "All of us are thrilled that New York state has moved forward with what is being considered the one the strongest plastic bag bans in the country," Liz Moran, environmental policy director for the New York State Public Interest Research Group said. "Which is why it is so critical that these regulations get it right." Read more about this story at the Democrat and Chronicle.
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