Wegmans will remove single-use plastic grocery bags from its six remaining Virginia stores and its four locations in North Carolina as of July 1.
The move follows the company’s April announcement to eliminate single-use plastic grocery bags companywide by the end of 2022.
While paper grocery bags will continue to be available for a 5-cent charge per bag, Wegmans’ goal is to shift customers to reusable bags. The amount collected from the paper-bag charge will be donated to each store’s local food bank.
According to the company, incentivizing the use of reusable bags by charging five cents per paper bag is an approach that has proven successful in Richmond and Fairfax County, Virginia, as well as other markets. 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.
Throughout the remainder of 2022, Wegmans will continue its phased approach to eliminating single-use plastic bags at its remaining 27 stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. At the time of each rollout, Wegmans said it will work to ensure consistency in its approach across all markets, unless legislation dictates otherwise