Big Y Foods, Inc. announced today that it will eliminate single-use plastic bags at the checkouts from its more than 80 supermarket and specialty store locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut on August 1, 2019. The grocer will offer discounts on reusable bags through the month of August as customers transition away from plastic.
Big Y has been complying with single-use plastic bag bans in several Massachusetts communities since 2014. Coming off of recent changes to laws in various towns across the New England region, Big Y has moved up its 2020 timeline to eliminate single-use plastic at checkouts in all of its locations in order to streamline operations and to do its part to support sustainability.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency , more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States each year. When not disposed of properly, this plastic can end up in waterways and forests where it can harm wildlife and our local communities. By removing single-use plastic bags at checkout, and encouraging shoppers to use reusable bags for their groceries, Big Y and its customers can work together to make a difference, eliminating the 100 million plastic bags that were previously distributed each year from the grocer.
“At Big Y, beyond providing great quality, great prices and great customer service, we also try to be smart about the resources and energy we use,” said Richard D. Bossie, Big Y Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Experience. “By working with our shoppers, we can further reduce consumption to make a difference in and around the tight-knit communities that we serve across New England.”
Shoppers can find a variety of easily accessible, reusable bags in fun, new designs and sizes by the checkout counters. From local university logos to hometown sports icons and nautical themed bags, there’s something for everyone.
Customers can keep their reusable bags in shopping-shape by washing them regularly with soap and water or disinfectant wipes. Big Y’s team of Registered Dietitians share tips for reusable bag cleaning online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XDKyxuHU4Y .
For those shoppers who do not bring their own shopping bags beginning in August, a ten-cent charge per paper bag will be added to their bill. This fee is in an effort to promote the use of reusable bags instead of paper, which also cause harm to the environment.
Big Y is committed to making a difference in the communities in which its customers and employees live and work. Supporting food banks across New England, Big Y has donated more than 6 million pounds of food to those in need in the last year. The company’s keep-it-local approach also ensures local business support and the highest quality products for its shoppers. Local products don’t have to travel far to store shelves, which means less fossil fuel being used, resulting in fewer carbon emissions. With the addition of new earth-friendly programs, over the last three years, Big Y has reduced its total energy consumption by more than 5,000,000 Kwh. For more information on Big Y’s Green Initiative, visit: https://www.bigy.com/Community/BigYsGreen.