New Jersey supermarket employee says some shoppers are stealing hand-held baskets instead of buying reusable bags

wayne, new jersey — Three months after New Jersey banned plastic bags, some store workers say they’re seeing unintended consequences.

They told CBS2’s Lisa Rosner on Sunday that some customers are stealing the business’ handheld baskets instead of buying reusable bags.

Wayne’s Stop and Shop on the Hamburg Turnpike no longer has baskets for customers to shop. Just a shopping cart.

Off camera, an employee told Rosner New Jersey’s plastic and paper bag ban goes into effect on May 4. Customers also went out with baskets and drove off.

Rozner found that some shoppers still forget their reusable bags months later.

“Half the time I have all my bags in the car,” said one Wayne resident.

“Not knowing when to stop shopping is inconvenient,” said another shopper.

So instead of buying another reusable one at checkout, some get creative.

“I put my groceries straight into the car without a bag,” says Paterson’s Jean Rose.

“If you’re just buying a few items, just do them,” added River Vale’s Kody Barton.

In a statement, Stop & Shop said, “Like other retailers in the state, we’ve seen handheld shopping baskets stolen. This is an unintended consequence of the plastic and paper bag ban. ‘ said.

A Whole Foods rep said stores are also experiencing issues, but it’s not about removing baskets.

The New Jersey Food Council, which represents grocers and supermarkets, says most customers have adapted, but members across the state are seeing an increase in basket-stealing customers.

A basket costs about $8 per piece, according to the New Jersey Food Council, but inflation may have driven the price up.

“I think they’re losing more money by not using plastic bags,” Wayne’s Luis Pastena said.

“Supermarkets need to be careful, and doors have their own security,” said Stephen Wangocho of Paterson.

Others stop people from leaving the store with baskets. Others make announcements urging shoppers to bring reusable bags.

“It will take time for people to get it,” Wangocho said. “By buying that bag and using it for a month or two, you are helping the environment.” .”

If you have even one more reusable bag, you can donate it to any of the 300 food banks and pantries that accept donations. They should distribute food when the plastic bag ban goes into effect on November 4th.

The Organization Environment New Jersey estimates that more than 12 million plastic bags are not used every day because of the ban.

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