Life changes for Wilton shoppers this Thursday, Aug. 1, when a new statewide 10-cent tax on plastic bags goes into effect. It’s a move environmentalists say will have an impact on reduce plastic bag use–it’s estimated that CT shoppers use 700 million plastic bags a year.

It’s not just supermarkets either that will be impacted by this new bag tax–anyplace retailers have used plastic bags for carrying away purchases will have to charge that 10-cent per bag tax. It doesn’t impact dry cleaners that use plastic to wrap clothes, deli counter plastic bags or produce plastic bags…but it’s still a significant change consumers can expect to find.

The most significant move announced this week was by Stop and Shop, which will stop offering single-use plastic bags to customers completely at check-out in all of its 91 CT stores, beginning Thursday. Stores will offer paper bags for free during August and then begin charging 10 cents per paper bag as well starting Sept. 3.

Many stores sell reusable bags, and local options are available that benefit Wilton organizations. Check out our stories on Wise Wilton, a reusable bag offered by Wilton teen Cole Stephenson, and Wilton Swag–two options that are good for the environment and benefit Wilton non-profits.

UPDATE:   Stop and Shop will give one free reusable bag per customers who bring in any single-use plastic bags for recycling, while supplies last.