Wegmans to Eliminate Plastic Bags in Pennsylvania

With the removal of single-use plastic grocery bags from all Pennsylvania stores, Wegmans will complete its companywide transition out of plastic bags.

Allentown, Pa., September 8, 2022 – Beginning Thursday, September 22, Wegmans will remove single-use plastic grocery bags from its 18 stores in Pennsylvania. This move marks the completion of the company’s journey to eliminate single-use plastic grocery bags companywide by the end of the year.

“Completing our transition out of single-use plastic bags across the company is a big celebration as we continue to expand our sustainability efforts and focus on doing what’s right for the environment,” said Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans category merchant for packaging, energy, and sustainability. “We started on this journey in 2019 when we set out to eliminate plastic bags in our New York State stores ahead of the state plastic bag ban. A lot has happened over the last three years, but that early success in New York showed us the impact we could make and drove us to continue on our journey to be plastic bag free 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 best option to solve the environmental challenge of single-use grocery bags. The amount collected from the paper-bag charge will be donated to each store’s local United Way.

Incentivizing the use of reusable bags by charging five cents per paper bag is an approach that has proven successful in the company’s other markets. In stores where Wegmans 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’ elimination of single-use plastic bags is coupled with its commitment to reduce single-use plastics. Wegmans has committed to reducing its in-store plastic packaging made from fossil fuels, along with other single-use plastics, by 10 million pounds by 2024.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 108-store supermarket chain with stores located along the east coast. The family company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 25 consecutive years, ranking #3 in 2022. The company also ranked #5 for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies, according to the 2022 Axios Harris Poll 100 Reputation Quotient® study.