Aldi eliminates plastic bags from all 2,300 of its stores

Aldi will become the first major U.S. retailer to eliminate plastic shopping bags from all of its stores, its CEO Jason Hart in a statement. 

The popular discount retailer has been gradually removing the option to purchase plastic bags at its checkouts for months. 

Aldi says going plastic bag-free in its 2,300 locations will save over 4,400 tons of plastic from circulation each year — equivalent to the size of “20 Lady Liberty statues.” 

“Shopping with a reusable bag is a small but mighty way we can all support a healthier planet,” Hart said. 

Reusable cloth bags will still be available for purchase in Aldi stores. 

Aldi said it also aims to use natural refrigerants in all US stores by 2035 to further its sustainability goals. Over 600 of its stores already use the eco-friendly refrigerants.

Other grocery retailers, such as Kroger, are working to remove single-use plastic bags from all of their store locations too. Smaller chains like Wegmans have already eliminated the option. The ultimate goal, these companies say, is to encourage customers to bring reusable bags for shopping. 

In some states, like California and New York, lawmakers passed bans on plastic bags, forcing retailers like Walmart to remove the option at its stores in those states.