January 14, 2019

Food Industry Alliance of NYS Responds to Governor Cuomo’s Plastic Bag Ban

“Governor Cuomo’s push to improve the environmental health of New York is a laudable goal, which is shared and championed by the retail food industry.  In fact, a recent survey of our members found that approximately 16,773 tons  of co-mingled plastic bags have been recycled by retail food stores.

That said, a plastic bag ban will not promote the utilization of reusable bags and will in fact increase the use of paper bags.  Studies have proven that paper bags cost more to generate and transport, which impacts the environment at a significant rate.

Any legislation that aims to improve the environment, increase recycling and promote better consumer behavior needs to address paper bags.  New York’s retail food industry is reeling with significant increases in labor costs and numerous business mandates.  A plastic bag ban will simply increase the financial duress for New York’s grocery store industry without achieving the goal of improving the environment.  New York’s environmental advocates have also echoed this concern.

While we strongly oppose this proposal from Governor Cuomo, we look forward to working with the administration on a more sustainable solution that benefits both our industry and environment.”

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The Food Industry Alliance (FIA) of New York State is the only statewide trade association representing the interests of New York State’s food retailers and wholesalers. FIA’s 800 corporate members include the full scope of food distribution --- ranging from large supermarket chains to independent grocers, convenience stores, food co-ops and wholesalers as well as grocery manufacturers and suppliers to the industry.