SPRINGFIELD — Pretty soon, grocery shoppers will notice a change in the checkout lines at Big Y Foods, the New England stores are phasing out of single use plastic bags.
On April 22, Big Y Express Gas and Convenience locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut will be the first division in the company to eliminate the plastic, just in time for Earth Day.
Big Y wrote in a statement, the change is the company’s effort to implement the nationwide pledge of banning single use plastic bags, which create an inordinate amount of waste.
“According to the EPA, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States each year. If not disposed properly, this plastic can end up in waterways and forests where it can harm fish, marine animals, birds and other wildlife.”
Big Y says they use 100 million plastic bags and 3.5 million paper bags at checkouts each year.
While the stores won’t have the bags at all later this month, they currently collect plastic bags from customers at each store and send them off to recycling plants.