After months of lobbying from the Vineyard Conservation Society, both the Edgartown and Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop stores have discontinued the use of the plastic ecoLoop bags in checkout aisles.

“We’re so excited to see the change,” said Samantha Look, education and youth coordinator for VCS.

Although every Island town adopted a plastic bag ban almost two years ago, the Stop & Shop bags, which have been in use since July 1, escaped the ban because their thickness categorizes them as reusable. Under the bylaw, stores like Stop & Shop could give out reusable plastic or polyurethane bags free of charge.

Earlier in the summer, VCS sent a letter to Stop & Shop’s corporate office expressing concern that even though the ecoLoop bags fit within the letter of the law, they did not adhere to its spirit.

“Yes, they contained some recycled content, and are theoretically recyclable,” Ms. Look said this week, “but our local recycling system is in such a tough position that the bags harm it in the same was as other plastic bags, and those costs get assessed right back to us. Any time we talk to any of the waste handlers the first thing they say are that plastic bags are their biggest problem.”

Over the summer both Bruno’s Rolloff and the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse District reported difficulty handling an increase in plastic bags. Both facilities send their recycling to an off-Island disposal plant, and too many plastic bags can contaminate an entire recycling batch. Rather than paying $90 for a ton of the material to get recycled, off-Island sites were reportedly charging the refuse district $170 to toss contaminated batches in with the regular garbage.

Now that Stop & Shop has discontinued the bags, recycling facilities are already noticing a difference.

“Recycling is cleaner,” said Don Hatch, who manages the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse District. “It’s made a difference here. It was too easy with everybody coming in with recycling to just throw the bags in. So it does help.”

VCS had been working on an amendment for the bylaw to ban plastic bags entirely.

“We let corporate know the next step was that we were going to amend the bylaw, and we heard back from them right away,” Ms. Look said. “We spoke primarily to the Edgartown manager, Mary McAvoy, who’s just been amazing.”

Jennifer Brogan, who works in communications for Stop & Shop’s corporate office, said in an email to the Gazette that the company decided to discontinue the use of the bags for a number of reasons, including feedback from the community.

“They [the eco-bags] were part of a pilot program, and we made the decision to end the pilot at the end of October,” Ms. Brogan wrote. “We do not intend to use the ecoLoop bags again in either the Vineyard Haven or the Edgartown store.”

Ms. Brogan said Stop & Shop hopes to listen closely to the concerns of Islanders in the future.

“We are absolutely committed to working with the residents of Martha’s Vineyard and with local leaders,” Ms. Brogan said. “We welcome and value their feedback on our stores — and on what we can be doing to better serve them.”

Both the Vineyard Haven and Edgartown Stop & Shop locations will now provide exclusively paper bags in the checkout aisle.

“I know people don’t love the paper bags,” Ms. Look said. “But there are very complicated issues out there, so hopefully we can deal with this one and move on to bigger things. Frankly, we want people to bring their own bags.”