By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been two months since Philadelphia’s plastic bag ban went into effect. But an environmental group says some stores are still violating the law.

That plastic bag ban applies to all stores in the city, including grocery stores. But Sprouts in South Philadelphia is one of the major retailers being called out.

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Realizing that this is a big shift for stores, the mayor ironically championed a store on Wednesday that was handing out plastic bags.

“It’s very convenient for all of us and we’re glad that it’s opening now,” shopper Glenny Cuevas said.

Convenience at their fingertips. Wednesday morning in Juniata shoppers celebrated the brand new Juniata supermarket.

“Big time, big time. It’s more convenient and something new,” shopper Victor Fernandez said.

The neighborhood was considered a food desert. But the $6 million, 400,000-square foot formerly abandoned warehouse is filling a void in the largely Latino community.

“This is a testament to the growth of the Latino community not just here in Philadelphia but throughout the region and throughout our great state,” State Rep. Danilo Burgos said.

But the store is in violation of city ordinance.

The city banned plastic bags in October. However, Wednesday morning as hundreds of people were restocking their refrigerators, they were handed plastic bags.

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Mayor Jim Kenney largely gave them a pass.

“Any of these kinds of things is going to take a while to get in place. It just went into effect. I’m sure there’s a stockpile of bags that people are going to try to get through them,” Kenney said.

PennEnvironment released a report Wednesday that says 27 of the 50 stores they visited since Oct. 1 were in violation of the ordinance.

“It’s critical for us to hold businesses accountable when they’re violating our laws and harming our environment, our communities and our quality of life,” said Faran Savitz with PennEnvironmental.

The stores in violation included Sprouts, some Home Depots, several CVS stores, Dollar Trees and Acmes.

Fines won’t start to be handed out until April of next year. The minimum penalty is $75.

“We’re not to come down like crazy at this point, but at some point, they’ll exhaust them and we’ll go to paper,” Kenney said.

Sprouts is handing out plastic bags that they say are thicker and can be reused up to 125 times. But a city spokesperson says those bags are also not permissible.

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If you see businesses violating the law, PennEnvironment is asking you to call 311.