COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Giant Eagle will get rid of single-use plastic bags on October 20, the company announced on Thursday.

The grocery store chain will encourage shoppers to bring or buy reusable bags instead. The move will take six million pounds of plastic out of the waste stream each year, according to Cara Mercil, Giant Eagle Director of Sustainability in a media release.

Giant Eagle removed single-use plastic bags from the Bexley Market District in 2019, eliminating about two million plastic bags from entering landfills. The company previously took away single-use plastic bags from all GetGo locations companywide, preventing 27 million plastic bags annually from entering landfills. It’s part of Giant Eagle’s larger strategic environmental plan for waste, carbon emissions and sustainable products.

Giant Eagle stores will charge a five-cent fee per paper bag. Paper bags are biodegradable and
recyclable, but also have a high environmental cost in terms of water and energy used in their
manufacture.

Shoppers who pay with forms of government assistance won’t have to pay the five cents, the release said.