The announcement comes after the firm’s move to ban single-use plastic grocery bags companywide by the end of 2022
US-based supermarket chain Wegmans has announced its decision to remove single-use plastic grocery bags from its six remaining Virginia stores and all four North Carolina stores from 1 July 2022.
The remaining Virginia stores include Leesburg, Dulles, Potomac, Lake Manassas, Virginia Beach, and Charlottesville.
The announcement comes after the firm’s move to ban single-use plastic grocery bags companywide by the end of this year.
While paper grocery bags will continue to be available for a 5-cent fee per bag, Wegmans’ goal is to encourage consumers to use reusable bags that are said to be an eco-friendly alternative for addressing the problem of single-use grocery bags.
The money collected from the paper-bag fee will be donated to the local food bank at each store.
Wegmans said that charging five cents per paper bag to encourage the use of reusable bags has been beneficial in Richmond and Fairfax County, Virginia, as well as other areas.
On average, paper bags are used for 20-25% of transactions at stores where plastic bags have already been banned, while the remaining 75-80% of transactions use reusable bags or no bag at all, said the supermarket chain.
Wegmans will continue to phase out single-use plastic bags at its remaining 27 shops in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts through the rest of the year.
The supermarket chain will aim to establish consistency in its strategy across all markets at the time of each release.
The company’s decision to eliminate single-use bags is part of a larger effort to reduce single-use plastics.
Wegmans has pledged to eliminate 10 million pounds of in-store plastic packaging generated from fossil fuels, as well as other single-use plastics by 2024.