Picente: Oneida County will not charge for paper bags

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente held a press conference on Saturday in the Oneida Public Market on Main Street.

Posted: Jun 1, 2019 6:29 PM

UTICA, N.Y - Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente held a press conference on Saturday in the Oneida Public Market on Main Street.

The County Executive announced that Oneida County will not charge 5 Cents per paper bag. The charge came as an option for counties as a result of the state-wide plastic bag ban.

"The ban we are supportive of, the issue for charging our residents as apart of this and part of that money going back to the state of New York is something we are not interested in," said Picente.

3 of the 5 cents would have gone towards the state environmental protection fund. The other two cents would have gone towards providing low-income families with reusable bags.

In Oneida County, the transition is already happening. The Oneida Public Market already started a tote bag tree at the market for patrons to use free of charge.

"Here at the market, we have a reusable grocery bag tree. So we are inviting people to come in and if you have a car with a trunk full of totes bring in a couple of extras and throw them on the tree for other people to use," said Market Manager Beth Irons.

The County says that starting this transition process early will get people in the habit of using those reusable bags.

"It's only going to benefit us to start that change early. And it only makes sense to get people accustomed to it before having to deal with an inordinate amount of paper bags," said Bill Rabbia of the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority.

The plastic bag ban begins March of 2020.

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