Shoppers at Aldi will no longer be able to purchase plastic shopping bags to tote home their groceries.
The discount chain has done away with the containers at all 2,300 of its U.S. locations, a move meant to reduce the company’s environmental footprint.
Aldi has slowly been reducing the number of stores that did not offer the bags and has now completed the process. The company says the move will reduce the amount of plastic in circulation (and in landfills) by more than 4,400 tons per year.
As an additional part of its environmental initiative, Aldi says it plans to use natural refrigerants in all U.S. stores by 2035, which will significantly reduce carbon emissions. So far, over 600 stores have made the switch.
“As one of America’s fastest-growing retailers, we take our responsibility to lead the industry in sustainability seriously, so our customers don’t have to choose between shopping responsibly and saving money,” said Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi in a statement. “Eliminating plastic shopping bags from our stores and transitioning to environmentally friendly refrigerant systems not only help us protect the environment, but they also help reduce costs, which we then pass on to our customers. These decisions help our customers feel good about shopping at Aldi and our employees feel proud to work here.”
Shoppers will still be able to purchase reusable cloth bags in stores and the company will sell paper bags to people who neglect or forget to bring their own reusable bag.
Several states, including Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, California and New York, have banned plastic disposable bags in stores as part of ongoing efforts to help the environment and reduce the number of discarded bags in sewers, oceans and waterways, which threaten, among other things, certain food chains.