Price Chopper will start charging 5 cents for paper bags

SCHENECTADY – Price Chopper and Market 32 ​​will start charging 5 cents per paper bag that customers use to wrap their groceries at checkout across New York City as a statewide ban on bags from plastic groceries will go into effect on March 1.

The new law allows counties to opt for a 5-cent fee also charged on paper bags.

Mona Golub, spokesperson for Golub Corp., owner of the supermarket chain’s two brands, said the ban would test the spending habits of customers, most of whom do not yet bring bags. reusable when shopping.

Albany County is one of the few counties in the state that has opted for the introduction of the paper bag tax.

Price Chopper and Market32 have launched deals on heavy-duty reusable bags that cost as little as 50 cents each to buy at checkout to encourage their use, Golub said.

Paper bags cost more than 5 cents and require a lot more energy than plastic bags to make and ship. Plastic bags, which have been the default bag at the company’s checkouts, cost more than a penny each, Golub said.

Golub said paper bags don’t biodegrade well in landfills that lack water and light, so in the long run, customers need to switch to reusable bags to meet the original policy goal. Golub wouldn’t say how much the plastic bag ban and the paper bag fee will cost the company.

“It’s all about behavior change,” Golub said.

Hannaford charged a 5-cent fee for paper and plastic bags at some of its New England stores and at its Lake Placid store, according to published reports. A spokesperson for Hannaford could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Ethel J. Montes

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