WATERTOWN, NY — When the plastic bag ban goes into effect on March 1, you’ve thought about how it will impact your grocery shopping, but what about mall shopping? You’ll need your reusable bags for that kind of shopping as well.
To help ease the transition and raise awareness of the issue, the Development
Authority of the North Country will be distributing free reusable bags to shoppers at the Salmon Run Mall on Wednesday, February 19 beginning at 10 a.m.
Locally, one of the issues with plastic bags is that many of them end up in the regional landfill, which is operated by the Development Authority. Although the lightweight plastic bags are recyclable, they cannot be recycled with your normal household recyclables and you must take them to a store that offers collection bins. That means that a lot of people don’t bother and instead, just throw them away with their trash. And that means they end up at the landfill.
Lightweight plastic bags are the #1 form of litter that staff must pick up at hand at the landfill. The wind blows the bags all over, where they collect in the litter fencing, on the ground and in trees and bushes. While it may take consumers a while to adjust to not using single-use plastic bags for purchases, it will be good for the environment by removing a significant amount of a problematic item from the waste stream.
For more information on local recycling, see www.northcountryrecycles.org.