Stop & Shop to cease offering plastic bags

Stop & Shop at 5 River Road, Wilton, Connecticut. Stop & Shop workers had hoped a

Stop & Shop at 5 River Road, Wilton, Connecticut. Stop & Shop workers had hoped a “hazard pay” appreciation program for working throughout the coronavirus pandemic implemented in March would be extended after July 4.

Patricia Gay /Hearst Connecticut Media

Stop & Shop stores in Connecticut will stop offering single-use plastic bags to customers at checkout on Aug. 1, the company announced Monday morning.

Beginning on that day, Stop & Shop customers that bring in a plastic bag to be recycled can receive a free reusable bag in exchange, according to a release.

This includes Stop & Shop in Wilton, located in Wilton River Park at 5 River Road.

Paper bags will be available for free until the start of September; beginning September 1, they will cost customers 10 cents each.

“We know that the environmental impact of plastics is something our customers and communities care about here in Connecticut, so we’re eliminating single-use plastic bags well ahead of the state mandated timeline — and we’re also placing a 10-cent fee on paper bags to encourage our customers to make the switch to reusable,” said Rudy DiPietro, SVP of Operations, Stop & Shop in the release.

“We also appreciate the fact that it’s going to take our customers time to make this adjustment, so we’re waiving the fee on paper throughout the month of August at most stores, offering reusable bag giveaways, and doing everything we can to help make the transition an easy one.”

Communities across Connecticut have banned or considered banning single-use plastic bags in recent years.

A 10-cent tax, approved by the state legislature in June, will be assessed on every plastic bag offered in Connecticut starting Aug. 1.

The fee is expected to remain in place for two years — the measure approved bans single-use plastic bags starting July 1, 2021.