Vermont grocers call for delay of plastic bag ban

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Should Vermont delay its upcoming ban on single-use plastic shopping bags?

The bag ban is slated to start this July. All businesses will have to provide reusable bags for shoppers.

The Vermont Retail & Grocers Association, which originally supported the ban, says pushing back the start date would protect customers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some grocers are asking customers to leave reusable bags at home right now to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many shoppers are doing it anyway. And the association worries they'll now be stuck with extra plastic bags when the ban kicks in.

"Retailers are now having to weigh their ability to purchase additional bags and run the risk of ending up with plastic bags that they cannot use after July first," said Erin Sigrist of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association.

Lawmakers would have to deal with pushing the ban back. But many say it's not necessary. And the health department says people can still continue to use their reusable shopping bags.