Rochester, N.Y., June 13, 2022 – Beginning Friday, July 1, Wegmans will remove single-use plastic grocery bags from its six remaining Virginia stores – Leesburg, Dulles, Potomac, Lake Manassas, Virginia Beach, and Charlottesville – and all four North Carolina stores. This move comes after the company’s announcement in April 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 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 food bank.
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 the year, 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 will work to ensure consistency in its approach across all markets, unless legislation dictates otherwise.
Wegmans’ elimination of single-use 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 107-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. 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 #1 on PEOPLE’s 2021 ‘Companies That Care’ list, and #5 for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies, according to the 2022 Axios Harris Poll 100 Reputation Quotient® study.