DeCicco’s Eliminates Plastic Bags

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DeCicco’s Eliminates Plastic Bags

P.E.P. members meet with assistant store 
manager Chris Dapolito.

P.E.P. members meet with assistant store manager Chris Dapolito.

Photo courtesy of SJ O’Connor

P.E.P. members meet with assistant store manager Chris Dapolito.

Photo courtesy of SJ O’Connor

Photo courtesy of SJ O’Connor

P.E.P. members meet with assistant store manager Chris Dapolito.

SJ O'Connor, Associate Editor-in-Chief

DeCicco & Sons has been a Pelham staple for many years. Located on 5th Avenue in Pelham, this supermarket boasts, “Quality First” as a family-owned business. As they expanded their business, they encountered bans on plastic bags. In reaction to this, DeCicco & Sons decided to become more environmentally friendly, and on November 1, DeCicco & Sons officially implemented the elimination of plastic bags in their Pelham store.

Since starting their business in the Bronx in 1972, the family has opened seven locations. When they opened their Larchmont store two years ago, the town had already made plastic bags illegal and pushed them to adopt paper bags and eliminate plastic packaging. Further, the refrigerator cases in their stores run on CO2, which have zero emissions to pollute the environment or disrupt the climate. In their Pelham store, they are looking for good biodegradable options for produce bags, plastic deli bags for cold cuts, and poultry containers. Since opening their fully green store in Larchmont two years ago, they want to start off going green.

“After speaking with community members and hearing from young people like Pelham Eliminates Plastics (P.E.P)…we felt it was necessary. It’s a direction we see the community is headed and we heard all of your voices,” Assistant Store Manager Chris Dapolito said.

Most consumers favor the plastic bag ban so far and, with social media, DeCicco’s has had a broader reach to hear people’s opinions about this change. As they saw consumers become more environmentally conscious by giving up straws and making shopping in their stores with reusable bags, DeCicco’s knew it was wise to eliminate plastic bags.

“Everyone says, ‘It’s just one bag. How can one bag possibly make a difference?’ Yet Americans ask themselves that question 100 billion times each year. Change begins with the individual, one bag at a time. PEP and DeCicco’s are showing us the way,” Lauren Kennedy, local resident and loyal DeCicco’s customer, said.

The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year, using them for an average of 12 minutes before disposal. Most bags end up in the ocean, where the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic is dumped every minute, or in a landfill where they take 500 years to degrade, turning into microplastics that continue to harm the environment. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Being one of the larger stores in Pelham, other family-owned local businesses may follow suit in this movement.

“I’d like to see [other Pelham stores eliminate plastic]. We all should care about the Earth. Many people who own businesses in town also shop here, and they have asked questions, so it’s something that we hope for,” Dapolito said.