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Big Y Express to Eliminate Plastic Bags

SPRINGFIELD — As part of Big Y Foods Inc.’s recent announcement to phase out of single-use plastic bags at their checkouts, its Big Y Express Gas and Convenience locations will be the first division in the 80-store company to eliminate these bags as of April 22.

Currently, Big Y Express in Lee is the only gas and convenience location without these bags as part of that town’s ordinance. Now, the other eight locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut will join in this pursuit just in time for Earth Day.

Single-use plastic bags 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 has been complying with single use plastic bag bans in fice of its local communities in Massachusetts (Amherst, Great Barrington, Lee, Northampton and South Hadley) since 2014. The company also issued a pledge in January to eliminate all single-use plastic bags at its checkouts in 2020. The elimination of these bags at its Express locations is the first phase of the implementation for this pledge.

Currently, there are several more towns with bans pending such as Longmeadow and West Springfield, Mass. and Mansfield, CT. In addition, the legislatures of both Massachusetts and Connecticut are discussing statewide bans on single use plastic bags. Customers within communities without single use plastic bags are delighted with the bans, supportive of environmentally responsible business practices and have been strong supporters of using reusable bags as an alternative to plastic or paper bags for their groceries. Paper is not the answer to this waste problem as the paper production process is harmful to the environment causing increased greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

Richard D. Bossie, Big Y’s senior vice president of operations and customer experience acknowledged this team for their enthusiasm. “Congratulations to our Express division for taking the lead in eliminating single use plastic bags in their stores. Their commitment to our overall initiative will be a great example for the remainder of our stores to follow.”

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