WILLIAMSVILLE — Grocery chain Tops will end the use of plastic shopping bags in all its New York and Vermont stores in early July.

Plastic bags are already gone from Tops stores in the Hudson Valley and North Country, according to the company. They’ll be banned at stores in the rest of the state by July 6.

Bags will be eliminated in Vermont stores July 1.

A law banning single-use plastic bags throughout New York went into effect March 1, but enforcement has been repeatedly delayed thanks to a lawsuit. Some chains, including Wegmans, Target and others, made the switch anyway.

But other retailers like Tops opted to keep using plastic bags due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After Tops’ bag ban goes into effect, shoppers can bring in their own reusable bags or pay a fee for paper bags at stores. A portion of the fee goes to local charities.

Tops previously said it would charge 5 cents a bag for paper.

Shoppers will also be allowed to bring in their old plastic bags for reuse, as long as they’re clean, the company said.

Plastic bags will continue to be available at Tops stores for certain items, including meat and produce.

Tops, headquartered in Williamsville, Erie County, has 162 stores in New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania.

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