In an effort to curb packaging made from fossil fuels, Wegmans Food Markets said Thursday that it will stop providing single-use plastic bags in all of its Maryland stores.
The decision came after an announcement in April that it planned to remove plastic bags from all of its stores by the end of 2022.
In 2020, Wegmans had removed single-use plastic bags from its store in Columbia, Maryland, after Howard County’s plastic bag restrictions went into effect.
In a news release, Wegmans said shifting to reusable bags is “the best option to solve the environmental challenge of single-use grocery bags.”
The company says it will continue to provide paper grocery bags for 5 cents each. With the exception of its Germantown store, revenue from the paper bag charge will be donated to each store’s local food bank program.
Wegmans said the transition from plastic bags has made a difference, stating that “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.”
The grocery chain says it is committed to reducing in-store plastic packaging, along with other single-use plastics, by 10 million pounds by 2024.
Wegmans has eight stores in Maryland.