Supermarket chain Giant Eagle, which also operates convenience stores and gas stations, is ditching single-use plastic bags.
The suburban Pittsburgh-based retailer has a target to eliminate single-use plastics by 2025, a move that will include bags, straws, fresh food containers and bottled beverages.
Giant Eagle, based in O'Hara Township, Pa., is launching a pilot program Jan. 15 at a store close to its headquarters. That store in the Waterworks shopping plaza will remove plastic bags from registers and encourage the use of reusable bags.
The retailer also will conduct pilot programs to eliminate plastic bags in Bexley and Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
The chain will charge a 10-cent fee for each paper bag used at the Waterworks site in an effort to drive reusable bags. Customers using government funded programs will not be charged the paper bag fee.
Giant Eagle also said it would phase out use of its blue single-use plastic bags in all stores in the city of Pittsburgh. City residents "have long used the blue bags to gather recyclables" for curb collection, Giant Eagle said. But those bags can tangle in recycling sorting equipment.
This move comes as the city is distributing free recycling bins to all Pittsburgh households, the company said.
"When my great-grandfather and the four other founders started Giant Eagle nearly 90 years ago, they wanted to improve life for people in their communities," CEO and President Laura Shapira Karet said in a statement. "Protecting our planet for future generations is a critical way we uphold this commitment today."
Giant Eagle operates locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Indiana. The company's move continues a growing number of retailers who seek to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags.