RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wegmans is the latest store to get rid of single-use plastic grocery bags.

The company has announced that starting Friday, July 1, plastic bags will be removed from six Virginia stores (Leesburg, Dulles, Potomac, Lake Manassas, Virginia Beach, and Charlottesville) and all four North Carolina stores.

Wegmans announced the change in April. Paper grocery bags will continue to be available at a cost of 5 cents per bag.

The grocer said their goal was to move customers to reusable bags. They said this was the best option to solve the environmental challenge of single-use grocery bags.

Wegmans says they plan to donate money collected from paper bag sales to each store’s local food bank.

Wegmans says in stores where the company has already eliminated plastic bags, on average, paper bags are used for 20 to 25 percent of transactions. The remaining 75 to 80 percent used reusable bags or no bag.

Banning single-use plastic bags has been seen by some as a tool in fighting pollution and waste.

How effective are these bans?

A study out of the University of Georgia earlier this year found bans may be backfiring in some cases. While grocery bags are labeled as single-use, researchers say those bags often get used again for other uses like trash can liners.

Researchers found that in California communities with bag policies, sales of smaller sized plastic trash bags increased. They found that sales of four gallon trash bags increased by 55 to 75 percent. Sales of eight gallon trash bags increased between 87 to 110 percent. Researchers concluded, however, that bag bans could make a difference at high-volume stores. If a store generated at least 326 carryout plastic bags a day, the study found they would send less plastic to the landfill in the long run.

Eight states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont, have banned single-use plastic bags, according to the National Coalition of State Legislatures.

Several cities like Washington, D.C., Portland, Maine and New York charge fees for food or alcohol takeout that use bags.

Wegmans said they plan to phase out single-use plastic bags at the rest of their 27 stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

Along with getting rid of plastic bags, Wegmans says they plan to reduce in-store plastic packaging made from fossil fuels, along with other single-use plastics, by 10 million pounds by 2024.