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New Jersey Shoppers Have Mixed Feelings About State's Single-Use Bag Ban

MARLTON, N.J. (CBS) -- New Jersey's single-use bag ban went into effect Wednesday. It is considered one of the strictest bans on plastic and single-use paper bags in the nation.

Grocery stores are going to be where folks see the most changes because both paper and plastic bags are not allowed. Rastelli Market Fresh in Marlton, Burlington County is giving out free reusable bags to help people through the process.

Many customers in Rastelli on Wednesday morning brought their own reusable bags, though some told Eyewitness News they forgot Wednesday was the day the ban took effect and grabbed a few free bags.

Customers had mixed feelings about the ban. Some support it completely, others wish it didn't go so far as to ban paper bags.

Rastelli Market Fresh manager Chris Dougherty says Wednesdays start off slow, which he says is good for them because cashiers can practice their lines with customers and get used to packing groceries into the reusable bags.

Customers At Rastelli Market Fresh Have Mixed Feelings About New Jersey's Single-Use Bag Ban

"A small difference, the paper bags stand up easier and they're just used to handling them," Dougherty said. "No matter what the difference is any time you change something it's just a little getting used to it, but you know it's been pretty seamless."

Richard Goodman forgot to bring one of his reusable bags so he grabbed a free one at Rastelli Market Fresh's checkout.

"I'm supportive of this," Goodman said about the ban. "The pollution with plastics is just unbelievable. I have friends who have a farm down in Williamstown, and a lot of the fields have the plastic impregnated into the soil."

Geri Smith felt the ban is more of a nuisance because she reused her plastic and paper bags.

"I started walking through the parking lot. I saw a guy with his own bag, and I realized today is the day that we had to start bringing our own bags," Smith said. "I had them in the car so what I did is I went back and got my bags."

Wawa announced that starting Wednesday, each of their 272 stores in New Jersey will be giving away 1,000 free reusable bags if someone purchases an item. The chain expects to distribute a total of 272,000 free reusable bags.

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