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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Giant Eagle is eliminating plastic grocery bags in its Cuyahoga County stores starting Friday.

It’s an effort that started in 2020, but was put on hold during the pandemic. Giant Eagle said during that time frame it was able to prevent up to 20 million single-use plastic bags from littering communities.

You can still buy paper bags for 10 cents, but the store is encouraging people to get reusable bags. The retailer is giving away more than 100,000 reusable bags in celebration of Earth Day.

Cuyahoga County’s ban on plastic bags went into effect in January, but it will not be enforced until the end of 2022.

Every year, Americans use tens of billions of plastic bags. Ninety-nine percent of them end up in a landfill or littering the environment.