- Giant Eagle plans to be free of single-use plastics by 2025, the company said in a press release. The announcement is part of a broader sustainability pledge the retail is undertaking to address environmental issues.
- Between now and 2025, Giant Eagle will move away from single-use plastic bags, straws, single-serve fresh food containers, bottled beverages and other items.
- In January, the company will launch pilot programs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Bexley, Ohio; and Cuyahoga County in Ohio to support its plastic reduction pledge. Through the programs, Giant Eagle will encourage use of reusable bags and sell them for 99 cents each.
In Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle’s pilot program will take place in partnership with its Waterworks Market District store along with Allegheny County, the city of Pittsburgh and Sustainable Pittsburgh, through which it will remove single-use plastic bags from registers. Paper bags will be available for 10 cents each.
Greenpeace USA applauded Giant Eagle’s move away from plastic, saying the company has shown it understands the urgent need to eliminate single-use plastics. Greenpeace also called on retailers including Target, Walmart and Albertsons to work alongside CPG companies to address the problem.
Earlier this year, the organization ranked Giant Eagle 16th out of 20 in a scorecard measuring large retailers' commitments to reduce single-use plastic across their organizations.
"Giant Eagle has sent a clear message to other retailers that the time for action has come," said Greenpeace USA plastics campaigner David Pinsky in a statement.
In 2019, many retailers announced plans to shift away from single-use plastics — though most have focused on bags to start. Kroger’s QFC banner kicked off the company’s efforts to ban plastic bags, while Stop & Shop eliminated plastic bags in its Connecticut stores to comply with state law. Trader Joe’s and Aldi are also among the retailers that have promised to curb plastic use and provide more sustainable packaging.
Studies show consumers are demanding more sustainable products, but retailers are also getting ahead of legislation banning plastic bags in states like Connecticut and California.