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Sustainability at Giant Eagle

At Giant Eagle, we are passionate about building stronger and healthier communities. That’s why we are undertaking a renewed environmental sustainability platform focused on achieving significant milestones related to:

  • Plastics
  • Waste
  • Carbon Emissions
  • Sustainable Products
  • Team Member Engagement

Our First Big Step — Eliminating All Single-Use Plastics

In December 2019, we announced our ambitious commitment to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2025. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pause our most public-facing demonstration of this commitment — the elimination of single-use plastic bags — important work in other areas of the company has continued:

  • We have partnered with vertical farming pioneer, Fifth Season, to reduce plastic packaging on leafy greens, lettuces and salad blends by 40% per package with a post-consumer, recycled bottom tray and top-seal film technology.
  • We have partnered with Cameron’s Coffee to bring in a line of EcoPods that use certified compostable plant-based materials like lids made from paper and a compostable ring made from corn and beets.
  • In the outer packaging of our new Great to Go fresh meal kits, we have used biodegradable compressed recycled paper.
  • We are working with numerous beer partners and have brought in a number of breweries who use much more sustainable packaging and processes. One example is The Brew Kettle who uses biodegradable six-pack rings made out of spent grain from the brewing process.
  • In Beauty, a few amazing products we sell include zero-packaging soap from Zum, new shampoo bars from Love Beauty and Planet and biodegradable tooth brushes and other oral care products from Humble Oral Care.
  • We are also working across our Own Brands product assortment to collaborate with leaders on sustainable packaging that we look to have in stores soon.

As these success stories progress, many more will begin. We are also actively engaged with Team Members, guests and our communities regarding the relaunch of our single-use plastic bag initiative. During the short four-month time frame that our initial elimination pilot took place, we prevented more than 20 million single-use plastic bags from being used.

We appreciate everyone’s support as we continue this journey, including community leaders at the local, national and global levels. Among those is Greenpeace, which has ranked Giant Eagle first among all retailers in its annual listing of food retailers committed to fighting against single-use plastics.

Behind the Scenes

We know that a lot of plastic in our community is hard to recycle. At all of our supermarkets (with a few exceptions where we are limited by size), we have recycling centers that the community uses for hard to recycle film plastic. In 2020, across our operations, we collected and recycled almost four million pounds of film plastic.

What Comes Next

Throughout 2021, we look forward to making continued progress on our single-use plastics commitment and announcing meaningful and measurable goals in other areas of environmental sustainability. Let’s work together to ensure that future generations inherit the strong community and healthy planet they deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Is Giant Eagle Eliminating Plastic Bags?

Each year, Americans use 100 billion single-use plastic bags. It takes all of us to address this national – and global – issue. As a retailer committed to the communities we serve, Giant Eagle is doing its part to reduce the global impact of single-use plastic bags and promote the use of environmentally friendly reusable bags.

Why Is Giant Eagle Charging for Paper Bags?

Paper bags are not the answer. Giant Eagle is excited to offer one bonus perk for each reusable bag used at checkout in our supermarkets for a limited time. Paper bags will be will be available to customers, but at a 10-cent fee per bag. Importantly, customers paying with forms of government assistance will not be charged for paper bags.

What Qualifies a "Reusable Bag" To Earn the Perk Reward?

We are excited to encourage the use of reusable grocery bags. Giant Eagle awards one bonus perk for any reusable bag designed for multi-use that customers bring into the store. Additionally, a bonus perk will be awarded for each reusable bag purchased at checkout and used for the customer’s transaction.

Will Plastic Bags Be Eliminated from Giant Eagle Curbside Orders?

No. Giant Eagle curbside orders will continue to be filled using plastic bags, at no charge. However, Giant Eagle curbside customers interested in participating in the move away from single-use plastics may have their entire Curbside pick-up order filled using paper bags for a flat $1.00 fee.

Which Giant Eagle Stores Are Participating in the Elimination of Single Use Plastic Bags?

Please click here for a list of stores that have removed single-use plastic bags from its checkouts.

Are Plastic Bags Being Eliminated from the Entire Store?

The focus is currently on single-use plastic bags at the checkout lanes and in-store cafes of the participating Giant Eagle locations. Customers will continue to find plastic bags at the Pharmacy, Meat, Seafood, Deli and other areas of the store.

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