ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque is about two weeks away from the plastic bag ban, but is everyone ready for it? Come January 1, shoppers in Albuquerque won’t be finding bags like these at stores. Now, shoppers and stores are preparing for the change.

At the checkout counters, the rustling sounds of plastic bags in Albuquerque stores will be a thing of the past after the start of the new year.

Joining cities like Austin, Seattle and Santa Fe, Mayor Tim Keller signed an ordinance back in April that will ban stores from handing out single-use plastic bags in the city. To help shoppers like Bruce Fischer, who forgot to bring his canvas bags to the store today, City Councilor Pat Davis said the City will be passing out about 20,000 re-usable bags to customers at grocery stores and city facilities starting January 1.

Shoppers say they welcome the change.

“I think it’s great, I think we need to do it,” said shopper Bruce Fischer. “We need to get rid of our plastic bags, plastic straws.”

“Everything that contributes to the landfill that cannot be eventually absorbed into the earth, should be banned,” said shopper Mark Conkling.

As the campaign grows around the country, Albertsons said it won’t just remove plastic bags in Albuquerque, they’ll do it in Rio Rancho, Los Lunas and Taos, too.

“It’s not law but it’s sustainability efforts, just to put us in a better, global position,” said Regional VP for Albertsons, Travis Chaney.

If a business slips up, they’ll get a warning for the first offense, but if they’re caught again giving out these single-use plastic bags, they’ll be looking at a $250 fine.

Convenience and retail stores are also banned from giving out thin plastic bags like you get at the supermarket. Restaurants and dry-cleaners are exempt.