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No more plastic grocery bags: Giant Eagle changes shopping policy at Cuyahoga County stores

Guests are encouraged to shop with reusable bags. Paper bags will be available to purchase for 10 cents each.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Attention, Giant Eagle shoppers. A big policy change is now in effect as the grocery store chain eliminates single-use plastic bags at all Cuyahoga County locations.

What if you don't have a plastic bag? Can you still get paper bags? Below is a breakdown of everything you need to know about this policy change and how it will impact your next visit to a Giant Eagle grocery store…

When does the new policy take effect?

Friday, April 22, which also happens to be Earth Day.

Why is Giant Eagle doing this?

“Each year, Americans use tens of billions of plastic bags, 99 percent of which end up in a landfill or littering the environment,” company officials said. “In response, Giant Eagle is relaunching the commitment it made in 2020 to be a leader in the reduction of single-use plastic grocery bags.”

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How does this impact me?

Single-use plastic grocery bags are discontinued at all Giant Eagle grocery stores in Cuyahoga County. Guests are incentivized to use “environmentally friendly reusable bags.”

Why only Cuyahoga County? Will this change come to more Giant Eagle stores?

Cuyahoga County is just the beginning as it joins the Erie, Pennsylvania, region as the first two Giant Eagle areas to remove single-use plastic grocery bags. Company officials say Giant Eagle plans to roll the policy to its supermarkets across other regions “in the coming months.”

“The company’s ambitious goal to eliminate single-use plastics throughout its operations is part of Giant Eagle’s larger strategic sustainability platform inclusive of achieving significant milestones related to waste, carbon emissions and sustainable products,” company officials said.

What about paper bags?

They are still available, but Giant Eagle will charge 10 cents per paper bag “to further encourage the use of reusable bags.”

“Paper bags are biodegradable and recyclable, but also have a high environmental cost in terms of water and energy used in their manufacture,” Giant Eagle officials said.

Shoppers paying with forms of government-funded food purchase assistance will be exempt from the paper bag fee.

Rewarding the use of reusable bags

Hoping to transition shoppers to reusable grocery bags in their stores, Giant Eagle is launching a special sweepstakes. Those shopping with a reusable bag will have multiple opportunities to win $10,000.

What if I don’t have a reusable bag?

Giant Eagle will have reusable bags available for purchase for 99 cents each. As the new policy begins, however, Giant Eagle says their stores will be giving away more than 100,000 reusable bags for free at their Cuyahoga County supermarket registers starting on April 22.

What about GetGo locations?

The company said they have completed the elimination of single-use plastic bags from their 250+ GetGo locations companywide.

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