PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Giant Eagle’s process of eliminating single-use plastic bags begins Wednesday.

The Market District store at the Waterworks shopping plaza will be the test ground for a six-month plastic bag pilot program, Giant Eagle says.

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KDKA’s Lindsay Ward Reports:


Starting today, the store will remove plastic bags at registers and grant perks to customers for bringing reusable bags. If you don’t have your own reusable bag, you can buy one for 99 cents.

If you don’t want to buy a reusable bag, the Waterworks Market District location will charge 10 cents per paper bag.

Giant Eagle Spokesperson Dan Donovan sees it as a win for the environment and the customer.

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“We’ve been incenting with a Fuel Perks perk for every reusable bag that is brought in for customers’ transactions,” he said.

“In four short weeks, we’ve actually awarded 1.8 million perks, which tells us we prevented 1.8 million plastic bag from entering our communities, so anyone who comes in and brings bags to be reused, they will get a perk for each one of those bags, up to 10 bags.”

Giant Eagle says it’s committing to phasing out single-use bags at all Pittsburgh locations in the coming months.

It seems the shoppers KDKA’s Brenda Waters talked to are ready for the change, like Sheryl Bungo of Aspinwall who says she has been bringing her own bags to the grocery store for a decade.

Wanda Johnson, of East Liberty, says she has dozens of reusable bags and always brings them with her.

As she pushed her grocery cart out of the store, Susan Washburn of Fox Chapel said, “I think it’s excellent that Giant Eagle is taking that step.”

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The company says it also wants to get rid of all single-use plastic — like fresh food containers, bottled beverages and straws — by 2025.