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ALDI, Wegmans, and Other Grocery Stores Are Expanding the Ban on This Item

One chain plans to completely eliminate this by the end of 2022.

If you're planning on going grocery shopping at Wegmans, you're going to want to gather up your reusable bags.

As part of a company-wide effort to eliminate single-use plastic bags by the end of 2022, on July 1, the Rochester, N.Y.-based grocery chain will be getting rid of these bags at six Virginia stores that are still using them, as well as all of its North Carolina locations. The news comes as other chains have put similar bans in place, too.

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The Virginia stores phasing out plastic bags include Leesburg, Dulles, Potomac, Lake Manassas, Virginia Beach, and Charlottesville. Paper bags will still be available at five cents apiece, and the money from the sales will be donated to each store's local food bank.

According to a company press release, incentivizing the use of reusable bags has shown to be successful in Richmond and Fairfax County, VA., as well as other markets.

wegmans reusable grocery bags
MollieGPhoto / Shutterstock

"In stores where the company has already eliminated plastic bags, on average, paper bags are used for 20-25% of transactions, while the remaining 75-80% use reusable bags, or no bag at all," Wegmans said in the statement.

For the rest of the year, the 107-store chain will continue to get rid of single-use plastic bags at its remaining 27 stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. This move is part of Wegmans' larger commitment to cutting down on its in-store plastic packaging made from fossil fuels, as well as single-use plastics, by 10 million pounds by 2024.

The grocer's latest announcement comes at a time when numerous chains have pledged to stop offering plastic bags to customers.

After banning plastic bags from nearly 500 stores, ALDI's CEO Jason Hart announced in a press release that the grocery chain plans to completely phase them out from all 2,200 locations by the end of 2023. This initiative is just one component of ALDI's Green Vision, which consists of making ALDI-exclusive packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable, installing solar panels on the rooftops of ALDI stores and distribution centers, diverting its operational waste, and more.

Other chains committed to removing plastic bags from their stores include Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, Albertsons, H-E-B, Walgreens and CVS. These companies have joined the Beyond the Bag Initiative, which aims to find alternatives to single-use plastic bags.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna