What happens when New Jersey launches what it terms the strongest retail shopping bag ban in the U.S.? Some stores say that customers who forget their own bags are simply walking off with the stores' hand baskets.
"They are just disappearing," Louis Scaduto Jr., CEO of Middletown, N.J.-based Food Circus Super Markets, which owns four Super Foodtown stores, told the Asbury Park Press and USA Today. "I may actually have to just do away with them soon, can't afford to keep replacing them."
Unlike many other bag restrictions, New Jersey's targets both plastic and paper bags at checkout, although small shops can still use paper bags. The ban went into effect in May.
Since then, there have been anecdotes from stores and shoppers alike of consumers simply grabbing something handy to replace the bag, such as reusable baskets and even carts. The New Jersey Food Council, which represents grocers in the state, calls the basket disappearances "a short unintended consequence of the new state law."