Aldi eliminates plastic shopping bags from US stores

A customer places a melon into a plastic carrier bag, branded with the Aldi name on June 29, 2015. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Aldi, an international discount supermarket chain, announced that it has completely removed plastic shopping bags from all of its stores in the U.S.

The bags were being gradually eliminated from the options given to customers at checkout, with a goal set by Aldi to eliminate the bags from all of its stores by the end of 2023.

Earlier this month, CEO Jason Hart said the phase-out was complete

"Aldi has become the first major U.S. retailer to eliminate plastic shopping bags from our more than 2,300 stores," he wrote in a press release. "This will save over 4,400 tons (nearly nine million pounds) of plastic from circulation each year."

Aldi shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags and can still purchase Aldi exclusive reusable bags at checkout if needed. 

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Other major retailers have begun programs for eliminating plastic shopping bags, whether it’s by phasing them out of stores or giving a small discount for bringing your own bags. 

Some states have also passed laws that eliminate plastic bags from stores. 

Plastic pollution is one of the most lasting sources of human waste.

This story was reported from Detroit.