Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market will eliminate single-use plastic bags at checkout by the end of 2023. With this decision, the retailer will remove more than 200 million single-use plastic bags from circulation each year.
Sprouts has eliminated single-use plastic bags at 132 California stores and will roll out this initiative company-wide in phases in April, beginning with Nevada, Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia locations.
“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, president and CEO.
“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 customers stronger, reusable plastic bags made from 40 percent post-consumer recycled material that are designed to be reused at least 125 times and will continue to offer customers other reusable bag options for purchase. The grocer will encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags by charging 10 cents per reusable plastic bag.
The company has also stopped offering paper bags at checkout as paper bags are generally not reusable, often are not recycled (with 80 percent ending up in landfill) and have a high environmental cost in terms of water, energy and raw materials used in their manufacture.
“We like to remind customers that any bag takes energy and resources to produce, which means the most sustainable choice is the bag you already have. Making the effort to reuse any bag that comes into your possession and disposing of the bag responsibly is key,” Konat said.
Customers can continue to bring single-use plastic bags to Sprouts stores for recycling after use; in 2022, customers recycled nearly one million pounds of soft plastics at Sprouts stores. For more information about this initiative and Sprouts’ sustainability efforts, visit sprouts.com/sustainability.