(WTNH)– Starting Thursday the plastic bags at the checkout areas of Stop & Shop and Big Y will all be gone.
That’s the same day retailers are required by the state to charge a ten cent tax on one time use plastic bags.
“You do know as of Thursday no more plastic right?” Big Y Assistant Store Manager Gary Dziekan tells a customer in Groton as he bags her groceries.
The two grocery store chains decided to ban the bags two years before the state requires retailers to do so in July 2021.
Thursday’s tax is aimed at encouraging people to use reusable bags to avoid more plastics polluting the environment.
“Get rid of the plastic bags it will be better for the rivers and stuff like that,” said Big Y customer Bob Montgomery of Groton.
Big Y has signs at several locations in the store and in the parking lot announcing the change. The outdoor signs also remind people to bring in the reusable bags from their car.
“It’s always a struggle to remember them when you’re going out,” said Big Y customer Adam Pereira of Groton.
He has already made the change himself and had four reusable bags in his cart.
“I think it’s just something that we’re all going to have to deal with,” said Pereira.
To make this transition easier Big Y has a deal on its reusable bags. Some are buy one get one free.
They also have giveaways for some lucky customers.
“I won one. I got one free because I have the Big Y card,” said Marie Olson of Groton.
The stores will both have premium paper bags which are ten cents each although Stop & Shop is offering them free for the month of August.
It is also allowing Stop & Shop customers to trade in their one time use plastic bags for the more sustainable ones for free while supplies last.
“And it’s one per customer per day so if you come back a different day you can get another bag,” said Stephanie Welch, Asst. Store Manager at the Stop & Shop in Groton.
She reminds customers the plastic bags in the produce and deli departments are still being used and are still free.