Sprouts Farmers Market has announced it will eliminate single-use plastic bags at checkout by the end of 2023. With this decision, Sprouts will remove over 200 million single-use plastic bags from circulation each year.
Sprouts has already eliminated single-use plastic bags at 132 of its California stores and will roll out this initiative in phases next month, beginning with Nevada, Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia stores.
“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 Chief Operating Officer of Sprouts. “The decision to shift to reusable bags is one of many ways Sprouts will have an even bigger impact on the environment.”
Sprouts will offer customers stronger, reusable plastic bags made from 40% post-consumer recycled material that are designed to be reused at least 125 times and will continue to offer customers numerous other reusable bag options for purchase. Sprouts will encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags by charging 10 cents per reusable plastic bag.
The company also has stopped offering paper bags at checkout as paper bags are generally not reusable, often are not recycled (with 80% 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,” said Konat.
Customers can continue to bring single-use plastic bags to Sprouts stores for recycling after use; in 2022, customers recycled nearly 1 million pounds of soft plastics at Sprouts stores.