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Retailer Reacts to New York’s Plastic Bag Ban

Stewart’s Shops offers reusable options in its c-stores
Stewart’s Shops
Photograph courtesy of Stewart's Shops

NEW YORK — One retailer is reacting to New York state’s ban on plastic bags by offering more sustainable options—and by granting the status of collector's items to the soon-to-disappear plastic bags.

Ballston Spa, N.Y.-based convenience-store chain Stewart’s Shops will offer reusable bags for 99 cents at all of its 335 locations. Starting in March, it will also have insulated bags available for $2.59.

  • Stewart's Shops Corp. is No. 24 on the Top 40 update to CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail outlets. CSP will release the complete 2020 list in June.

While Stewart’s Shops will sell paper bags for 5 cents, it will discourage customers from using this option because paper bags are heavier and take up more room to store than plastic bags, are more expensive to recycle than plastic bags and don’t biodegrade easily in landfills, the retailer said on its website.

Leading up to the ban, Stewart’s Shops also gave out free Stewart’s plastic bags. The plastic bag said, “I’m one of the last Stewart’s bags (Collector’s Item.) By March 1, 2020, I will be replaced by paper and reusable bags. Please reuse me!”

Stewart’s plastic bags are durable, so customers can reuse old bags by bringing them into the store, according to the company.

The state banned single-use plastic bags effective March 1 to reduce litter, cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, according to a message from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

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