Wilton customers must cope with plastic bag law

Village Market in Wilton Center will match gift card purchases for Wilton's food pantry, from April 20 to 24, up to $5,000.

Village Market in Wilton Center will match gift card purchases for Wilton’s food pantry, from April 20 to 24, up to $5,000.

Bryan Haeffele / / bryanhaeffele.com /

Dig out your reusable plastic bags when you go grocery shopping.

Starting Thursday, Aug. 1, a state law goes into effect imposing a 10-cent charge for single-use plastic bags at checkout.

The fee is expected to remain in place for two years. Single-use plastic bags will be completely banned in the state starting July 1, 2021.

The 10-cent fee will not go to the stores, but to the state, which expects to collect $56 million until the ban hits in 2021.

With approximately one billion plastic bags used each year in Connecticut, the goal of the plastic bag ban is to reduce pollution.

The 10-cent fee is being imposed only on single-use plastic bags at the checkout counter. It is not being imposed on plastic bags provided by stores to hold meat, seafood and loose produce, as well as newspaper and dry cleaning bags.

Village Market

Wilton supermarkets are dealing with the first phase of the state’s plastic bag bag, and 10-cent fee in different ways.

Village Market on Old Ridgefield Road, as required by law, must impose the fee on plastic bags at the checkout counter.

However, the store is also offering an alternative that will keep customers from feeling the new law’s financial pinch.

As has been the market’s custom for the past 20 years, Village Market will pay customers five-cents for every bag they bring in on their own.

The market also has paper bags if customers need them, and sells reusable bags.

“We very much want to see you bring your own bags — rather than just switching from plastic to paper,” said Nancy Dolnier, the market’s general manager in a printed statement.

Stop & Shop

Stop & Shop is taking things a step further.

Starting Aug. 1, all Stop & Shop stores in Connecticut, including the one at 5 River Road in Wilton, will completely stop offering single-use plastic bags to customers at checkout.

In addition, Stop & Shop customers that bring in a plastic bag to be recycled can receive a free reusable bag in exchange, according to a release issued by the company.

Paper bags will be available for free until the start of September. Beginning Sept. 1, they will cost Stop & Shop 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, senior vice president of operations for 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.”

William Lambert contributed to this story.