COLUMBUS, Ohio — Giant Eagle announced its central Ohio supermarkets will discontinue the use of plastic grocery bags beginning on Oct. 20.
In a press release, the company said Americans use 5 trillion single-use plastic bags with more than 90% of which are never recycled.
Giant Eagle said the move to eliminate plastic bags is part of the company's larger strategic environmental sustainability plan.
“At Giant Eagle, we are committed to supporting the communities we serve, and we recognize the responsibility we have to help provide our families with a clean environment to play, swim and enjoy for generations to come,” said Cara Mercil, Giant Eagle Director of Sustainability. “By eliminating single-use plastic bags from our stores, we will be able to divert more than six million pounds of plastic from entering our waste stream each year.”
In 2019, Giant Eagle removed single-use plastic bags from the Bexley Market District. The company says that decision prevented more than two million plastic bags from entering landfills where it takes 1,000 years for one to fully break down.
The central Ohio stores are joining Cuyahoga County and Erie, Pa. as the first Giant Eagle communities to remove the bags from its supermarkets.
Giant Eagle said the removal of plastic bags from all GetGo locations prevented the disposal of 27 million bags.
Central Ohio area Giant Eagle stores will a 5-cent fee per paper bag used to ensure they are available as guests transition to reusable bags.
Customers paying with forms of government funded food purchase assistance, such as SNAP or WIC, will be exempt from the paper bag fee.