A popular grocery chain has radically revised its checkout policy, and shoppers can save money on their next trip.
Giant Eagle customers have had to pay a five cent surcharge for paper bags for years, but that surcharge will soon disappear from Erie-area stores.
The grocer operates five supermarkets in the area, but starting this month, shoppers will no longer have to pay a five cent premium to buy paper bags.
The change comes as the popular area store is also introducing a new incentive for customers to use a reusable bag at checkout.
From July 13th to July 19th, all buyers will receive a free reusable bag.
“We believe that rewarding our customers who choose to shop with reusable bags is the best way to support cleaner communities,” Cara Mercil, Giant Eagle’s director of sustainability, said in a statement, per Erie News Now reported.
“Our customers in the Erie area have made a huge effort and made a significant contribution to the 1.8 million pounds of plastic that Giant Eagle has prevented from littering rivers and green spaces in its regions over the past 12 months.”
By offering a free bag, the chain hopes shoppers will continue to use it the next time they visit the store.
To fuel the reusable bag trend, all shoppers who use reusable bags and scan their benefit card at checkout will also receive two per transaction per transaction.
Paper bags may be better than single-use plastics in terms of sustainability, but they still use a lot of energy and water, Giant Eagle said.
Last year, the company also eliminated single-use plastic bags at all its Erie stores.
“We believe this is one of the best ways to give back to the communities we serve,” said Dan Donovan, spokesman for Giant Eagle, as reported by Go Erie. “Single-use plastic bags are among the most visible waste products.”
Another popular grocery chain, Stop & Shop, also added an additional 10 cents to paper bags at the checkout after the retailer pledged to go plastic.
Stop & Shop announced that it would phase out plastic bags at all locations by July 2023.
Reusable bags will be available in stores from 10 cents.
Meanwhile, Walmart has banned plastic bags in Delaware, Oregon, Washington, DC and Washington State.
The supermarket had previously eliminated single-use bags in six other states — Colorado, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maine and Vermont.
The Home Depot also added a surcharge that buyers should be aware of.
Customers ordering online from CVS may also incur a small additional charge.