Rye became the first community in Westchester County to ban plastic bags at checkout counters—specifically, the thin, two-handled kind known as T-shirt bags.
“I think it’s terrific,” said Carol Rosato, in the photo above, carrying lunch along Purchase Street today. “We all better start doing something.”
Paper replaced plastic at stores like Andy’s Wellness Cafe, where manager Onur Ozkoc said the new policy fit in with the vegan and natural food theme. “It costs more, of course,” he said. “But it matches what we do here.”
The paper bags at CVS were the most noticeable sign of the ban. Retailers were generally supportive, though there are remaining concerns about spillage when it comes to certain goods.
At Post Road Wine & Spirits, employee David Williams was wondering how the paper bags would hold up when customers carry away chilled and dripping-wet white wines during the warm months.
“There are always unforeseen consequences,” he said. In the photo below are some solutions: reusable plastic totes. The one on the left is designed to be filled with ice.
Williams said he believed in the idea behind Rye’s ordinance, ever since he created his own “Make every day Earth Day” bags back in the 1970s for a store he had on Purchase Street. Those did not exactly fly off the shelves, and he still hasn’t sold them all. They were ahead of their time, he said. “Right idea, wrong coast.”
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