Sprouts Farmers Market has revealed that it will eliminate single-use plastic bags at checkout by the end of 2023. Doing this will remove 200 million-plus single-use plastic bags from circulation annually, according to the grocer.
The company, which has already eliminated single-use plastic bags at 132 California stores, will introduce this initiative in phases next month, starting with its Nevada, Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia stores.
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“Our customers tell us how much they appreciate Sprouts’ care for the planet and our commitment to doing what’s right for our collective future,” said Nick Konat, Sprouts’ president and COO. “The decision to shift to reusable bags is one of many ways Sprouts will have an even bigger impact on the environment. We understand this will be an adjustment for our customers, and we will be here to help them with the transition.”
Sprouts will offer stronger, reusable plastic bags made from 40% post-consumer recycled material that can be reused at least 125 times, and shoppers will have various other reusable-bag purchase options. The grocer will encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags by charging 10 cents per reusable plastic bag.
The company also stopped offering paper bags at checkout, as they’re generally not reusable, aren’t recycled often and have a high environmental cost in terms of the water, energy and raw materials used to manufacture them. Additionally, customers can keep bringing single-use plastic bags to Sprouts stores for recycling after use. Last year, shoppers recycled nearly 1 million pounds of soft plastics at the grocer’s locations.
Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market employs approximately 31,000 associates and operates approximately 380 stores in 23 states nationwide. The company is No. 53 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.