The banning of single-use plastic bags has been a hot topic around the Berkshires as of late. Individual towns have been making the decision to enforce a ban of their own as a state-wide ban continues to be sought after on Beacon Hill. Currently, there is no law in place in Massachusetts, but there are bills on the table that would regulate the use of the bags.

Here in the Berkshires, several towns have already instituted a ban on the thin film, single use bags. One of those towns is Lenox. Price Chopper shoppers there are already settled into the idea of using re-usable shopping bags. If you forget to bring your own bags, you have the option to either purchase paper bags – with or without handles – at a small fee per bag, or to purchase re-usable bags.

Now, Big Y shoppers across the Berkshires and throughout the state, are facing the same ban. This one was imposed by the Big Y Food corporation ahead of any state legislation. Big Y announced recently that it would put its own ban into effect starting August 1st. That day has arrived. The ban is now in effect at all of the Big Y Supermarket’s and convenience stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The state of Connecticut, unlike Massachusetts, has a full ban in place already. Eight Big Y stores, by the way, are located in towns that already imposed their own bag bans.

Getty Images - You won't be seeing these at Big Y Supermarkets anymore.

This process appeared to be going smoothly at the Big Y Supermarket on West Street in Pittsfield today. Some shoppers, despite the heavy news and other media publicity, were taken by surprise. That being said, there seemed to be no indication that anyone was putting up much of a stink over it.

To make things easier for its shoppers in Connecticut, Big Y is offering customers a free re-suable bag in exchange for handing in one or more of the, now banned, single use plastic bags. The stores there are also giving away free re-usable paper bags with handles until September 3rd, when they will start to cost 10 cents each. There is no such easing into it here in Massachusetts however as the ban at the stores takes full effect today.

The company did say that it will continue to have plastic bags available as usual for deli meats and the produce areas of its stores.

Are you getting used to the idea of bringing your own bags when you go grocery shopping? Let us know what you think!