Local Wegmans’ Stores to End Plastic Bag Use

COLLEGEVILLE PA – The availability of single-use plastic grocery stores in all 18 Wegmans Food Markets Inc. stores within Pennsylvania, including those in Collegeville and King of Prussia, ends Sept. 22 (Thursday), the company said. Eliminating the bags at its Keystone State locations will complete what it called a company-wide transition during the past three years.

Wegmans hopes to “shift customers to reusable bags, the best option to solve the environmental challenge of single-use grocery bags,” it said. Consumers who lack re-usable bags have the option to buy paper grocery bags, which will continue to be available, for a 5-cent-charge per bag. All money from paper bag purchases “will be donated to each store’s local United Way,” it reported.

The company’s move away from single-use plastic bags began in 2019 at its New York locations, ahead of that state’s ban on them. It also represents “our sustainability efforts and focus on doing what’s right for the environment,” according to Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans’ category merchant for packaging, energy, and sustainability.

“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,” Wadsworth added.

Offering 5-cent paper bags “is an approach that has proven successful in the company’s other markets,” it indicated. In stores where Wegmans has already eliminated plastic bags, on average, paper bags are used for 20 to 25 percent of transactions. Consumers in the remaining 75 to 80 percent of transactions use reusable bags, or no bag at all, the company claimed.

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