By Laura DiCaprio 

New York State’s plastic ban went into effect over the weekend, which prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags by certain retailers. Shoppers will be required to bring their own reusable bags to stores or opt for a carryout paper bag. Stores have had almost a year to prepare for this transition, while some retailers such as Wegmans have already made the switch. The situation has fueled customer frustration over the inconvenience, with many heated debates occurring on social media and blogging platforms about this new law.


Kinney Drugs, knowing that people would inevitably miss their iconic, durable orange bags, started planning for the transition months ago by creating a multi-tiered campaign dedicated to retiring the beloved bags.

Elements included:


  • Customer Involvement: Kinney customers were asked to share pictures, poems, stories…anything they felt would act as a proper good-bye. In return, Kinney received over 1,500 submissions. Stories and photos poured in detailing how bags were reused in the home, and a few people shared how they crafted the bags into new items like hats and braided rugs.
  • In-Store Celebrations: Every Kinney store in NY State celebrated with a retirement party over the weekend. Festivities included cake, a Kinney bag signed by employees, and a free reusable tote (with a $10 purchase).
  • Media Support: The celebration was supported by radio, social media, and display campaigns, reminding people of the retirement date and in-store festivities. Becky Bubel, President of Kinney Drugs, and Judy Cowden, Senior Director of Marketing and Advertising, were even invited on WSYR’s morning show Bridge Street to share details of the event.


Photos from the eventful weekend:

Social media posts featuring the in-store celebrations



Kinney Drugs bag cake, provided by a local Gouverneur, NY bakery 


The Kinney Drugs team on WSYR's Bridge Street morning program 


Judy Cowden, Senior Director of Marketing and Advertising, shows off a framed Kinney bag ready to be signed by store employees 


Retirement gift from Wahl Media


We at Wahl Media wish the orange Kinney bag a very happy retirement. It’s certainly well deserved!