(WFSB) - Connecticut's 10 cent tax law for single-use plastic bags went into effect on Thursday.
To help viewers and customers change over to reusable bags, Channel 3 teamed up with Big Y World Class Markets so they can go a little greener and save a little money.
Channel 3 gave away one reusable bag per customer at select Big Y locations in the state. Though thousands of bags were handed out, many locations reported quickly running out.
The bags are sturdy and washable.
The new state law passed by lawmakers during the last legislative session implements a 10 cent charge per plastic bag.
The goal behind the law is to phase out all plastic bags by June 2021.
Stores like Big Y and Stop & Shop decided to get rid of them altogether in advance of that deadline. They'll instead offer paper bags for a 10 cent fee.
"We were going to get rid of the plastic bags anyway in the year 2020 so we decided with the state making all of these changes, that we were going to do it quicker and faster," said Lisa Buckley, customer service manager, Big Y Meriden.
Leftover plastic bags at the stores will be donated to places like animal shelters.
Stop & Shop said they'll recycle theirs into decking material that will be used for things like park benches.
Shoppers who spoke to Eyewitness News had mixed reactions to the new law.
"I agree that plastic is not good but I don't agree on the 10 cents a bag," said Luranna Foster of Meriden. "I think that’s just a way for the state to make more money from us. We are taxed to death already. I don't mean to be rude, but that's the way I feel about it.”
“I think it's a good idea because they’ll get rid of the plastic bags and the waste and everything," said Kim Belcher of Wallingford.
Big Y and Channel 3 started handing out the bags starting at 7 a.m. at locations in Meriden, Naugatuck, Rocky Hill, Cheshire and West Hartford.
They were only available while supplies lasted.
Customers were urged to post pictures of their reusable Channel 3 bags to social media using the hashtag #BagDayOn3. See them here.