SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Big Y Foods Inc. recently pledged to phase out single-use plastic bags by 2020, and the company’s convenience stores will be the first to make the change starting on April 22, according to Progressive Grocer.
Already, the Big Y Express in Lees, Massachusetts, has dispensed with single-use plastic bags as part of that town’s no-plastic-bags ordinance, and the remaining eight Big Y Express locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut will follow suit. Big Y has complied with plastic-bag bans in several Massachusetts communities where the chain operates. Both Massachusetts and Connecticut are considering statewide bans on single-use plastic bags.
“Congratulations to our Express division for taking the lead in eliminating single-use plastic bags in their stores,” said Richard D. Bossies, senior vice president of operations and customer experience for Big Y. “Their commitment to our overall initiative will be a great example for the remainder of our stores to follow.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States each year. If not disposed of properly, the plastic can end up in waterways and forests where it may harm fish, marine animals, birds and other wildlife.
One of the largest family owned supermarket chains in New England, Big Y operates locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 70 supermarkets, 40 pharmacies, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors and nine Big Y Express gas and convenience locations.
For more on retailers’ moves away from plastic bags and plastic packaging, see “Plastic Attack” in the May 2018 issue of NACS Magazine.