SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - In less than three weeks, single-use plastic bags will be a thing of the past at all Big Y stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
This move comes as communities across western Mass, the state, and the country are in different stages of a total ban.
As of August 1, there will be no more plastic bags in any Big Y location and they want their customers to know they're even putting up signs in the parking lot.
There are currently six Big Y locations in western Mass that have banned plastic bags due to town ordinances, but, in a bold move, the other sixty-four locations will do away with them as well.
Right now, Big Y in Chicopee is still offering plastic bags.
Western Mass News caught up with shoppers to see how the change will impact them.
"I think it's a great idea. I end up with tons of bags at home, which I don't use and just end up throwing them away anyway," Holyoke resident Martha Slowik tells us.
"I don't mind bringing in my own bags. I think the landfill is much too full and we gotta start somewhere," says Chicopee resident Pat Langevin.
We found that shoppers were in support of reuseable or paper bags, but were still using plastic bags at checkout.
The Big Y in South Hadley banned plastic bags a year ago.
Manager James Laconte says their shoppers don't miss the old single use bags.
"It's been very good here. We've had a lot of support from the community here, because the community believes the best thing for the environment is to go reusable bags. We have to save our planet. Plastic bags are just destroying the planet," stated Laconte.
Checking in with the city of Springfield, they have a plastic bag ban that goes into effect on June 1 of 2020.
City officials say they've seen a big problem with Springfield recycling centers shutting down when plastic bags enter the machines.
"One of the things a lot of people don't realize is those single use plastic bags, one of the reasons why they are an issue, is that they are not recyclable. When they are put into the recycling stream, they contaminate that load of recycling and it has to be turned away," says Springfield City Councilor At-Large Jesse Lederman.
As for Big Y customers, they have three weeks to decide if they want to invest in their own reuseable bags or pay ten cents for each paper bag they use.