This new year bring with it a change to Suffolk Co. Long Island. Starting January 1, a bag fee of 5 cents will be charged to all shoppers when they use plastic or paper bags.

Now, we understand that this can seem scary. Granted, anything that is new/different/inconvenient at first can lead to a lot of frustration. But we look at this new bag fee change as a great opportunity to jumpstart our mission to help our community reduce its waste footprint.

Did you know that only about 2% of ALL plastic bags end up recycled? In fact, they are more likely to be strewn about along our roads and in our sewer systems, clogging our pipes. This is not only bad for efficiency, but it is also detrimental to our environment. Plastic does not fully breakdown in landfills. It will, quite literally, be around forever. So it’s up to us to do our part to reduce the amount of plastic that reaches our landfills.

What you can do

Cornucopia has taken one step in offering brown paper bags for customers, but the fee will still be charged at checkout – as a way to reduce the amount of single-serve bags being used throughout Suffolk Co. We also provide reusable bags that you can easily purchase at checkout to avoid this fee! Along with avoiding the 5 cent fee, here are some other (awesome) benefits of bringing your own bags:

– You receive 10 cents off for each bag you bring in to the store! (That’s right, we pay YOU to bring your own bags. What could be better?)

– Bringing your own bag stops you from using more plastic and paper bags than you think. The lifespan of a reusable bag is actually equal to approximately 700 disposable plastic bags.

– Beyond just one bag alone, one person (aka YOU) using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment.

With these incentives, we urge you to bring your own bags or pick one up for yourself the next time you’re in the store. If each of us can make the small change to stop using paper and plastic bags, we can help contribute to reducing our waste, one purchase at a time.