Giant Eagle to Eliminate Plastic Bags in 2 Markets

The grocer removed single-use plastic bags from its 250-plus GetGo locations. 

April 08, 2022

Plastic Bags

PITTSBURGH—Giant Eagle are relaunching its commitment to be a leader in the reduction of single-use plastic grocery bags by discontinuing the use of single-use plastic grocery bags starting this Earth Day on Friday, April 22, according to a news release. Giant Eagle supermarkets throughout Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and Erie, Pennsylvania, will instead incentivize guests to use environmentally friendly reusable bags.

Giant Eagle recently completed the removal of single-use plastic bags from its 250-plus GetGo locations companywide, preventing 27 million plastic bags annually from landfills. Cuyahoga County and Erie are the first two Giant Eagle communities where single-use plastic grocery bags will be removed from its supermarkets beginning this Earth Day. In the coming months, Giant Eagle plans to roll the initiative to its supermarkets across other regions.

Coinciding with its removal of single-use plastic grocery bags from stores on April 22, the company is launching a reusable bag sweepstakes, providing guests who shop with a reusable bag and multiple opportunities every month to win $10,000. Additionally, Giant Eagle is giving away more than 100,000 reusable bags for free at its Cuyahoga County and Erie supermarket registers starting on Earth Day.

To further encourage the use of reusable bags, Cuyahoga County and Erie Giant Eagle stores will charge a 10-cent fee per paper bag used, ensuring that paper bags continue to be available for interested guests. Paper bags are biodegradable and recyclable but also have a high environmental cost in terms of water and energy used in their manufacture. Guests paying with forms of government funded food purchase assistance (SNAP, WIC, etc.) will be exempt from the paper bag fee.

Convenience retailers are turning to sustainable packaging to keep food and drinks fresh and warm. Learn more in the NACS Magazine article “Package Deal,” published in the January 2022 issue.

More than half of all convenience store customers (54%) say they’d like to see more recycling at their local c-store, according to NACS data. NACS offers a resource in partnership with CMI on the value of can and bottle recycling, which offers tips and suggestions for improving current practices, how to effectively communicate the goals of the program with staff and customers, as well as a checklist to help retailers reduce contamination in their recycling bins.