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Stop & Shop to cut out plastic bags in Connecticut stores

HARTFORD — The grocery store chain Stop & Shop says it is eliminating single-use plastic bags at checkout at its Connecticut stores. The announcement Monday...

HARTFORD — The grocery store chain Stop & Shop says it is eliminating single-use plastic bags at checkout at its Connecticut stores.

The announcement Monday comes as the state prepares to implement a new tax that will charge customers 10 cents to carry out purchases in plastic bags. The tax that takes effect Thursday will be in place until June 2021, when retailers will be prohibited from providing plastic bags.

A Stop & Shop executive said the company is doing away with plastic bags ahead of the state's timeline in recognition of concern about the bags' environmental impact.

This is expected to generate $28 million in the current fiscal year and $27 million for the following year. Big Y began phasing out plastic bags back in April.

Rudy Dipietiro, Senior Vice President of Operations at Stop and Shop said, “I think the policy in general is a really good thing I think its going to take plastic out of the system take plastic out of landfills which is the most important thing."

He goes on to say that to help customers transition into this change will be “giving paper away for the  month of august will ease their transition."

Former State Senator Len Suzio putting out this statement:

"The state of Connecticut recently passed a tax of $0.10 per plastic bag that will be imposed starting August 1, this Thursday. The state is anticipating nearly $55 million in plastic bag taxes to be collected to balance the biennium budget.

But the largest grocery chain in the state doesn't plan on offering plastic bags starting August 1. Stop and Shop will have only paper bags for groceries at the checkout counter.

The chain will not charge consumers anything for the paper bags for the first month but plans to charge $0.10 per paper bag thereafter. But because the charge is for paper bags it is not subject to the plastic bag tax.

If the chain sticks to its plan not a nickel of plastic bag tax will be collected by the largest grocery store chain in the state. It is likely that other grocery stores will follow Stop and Shop's lead.

This could result in a nearly $55 million shortfall in tax collections for the state of Connecticut during the biennium for FYE 2020 through FYE 2021."

Stop & Shop has 91 stores in Connecticut. The Quincy, Massachusetts-based retailer said it will offer paper bags for free during August, with a 10-cent fee on paper bags beginning in September.