US-based supermarket chain Wegmans has decided to eliminate single-use plastic grocery bags from its six remaining outlets in Virginia and four in North Carolina from 1 July.

The six stores in Virginia are located at Leesburg, Dulles, Potomac, Lake Manassas, Virginia Beach and Charlottesville.

The move is in line with the company’s commitment made in April to remove single-use plastic grocery bags from its operations by the end of this year.

Wegmans will continue to offer paper grocery bags for a charge of $0.05 each, which will be donated to each store’s local food bank.

In a statement, the retailer said: “Wegmans’ goal is to shift customers to reusable bags, the best option to solve the environmental challenge of single-use grocery bags.

“Incentivising the use of reusable bags by charging five cents per paper bag is an approach that has proven successful in Richmond and Fairfax County, Virginia, as well as other markets.”

For the rest of the year, Wegmans plans to remove single-use plastic bags at its remaining 27 stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in a phased manner.

The grocer said that on average, 20-25% of its customers use paper bags, while the remaining 75%-80% use reusable bags or none at stores that have stopped using plastic bags.

Wegmans’ move to eliminate single-use bags complements its commitment to reducing its use of single-use plastics.

The retailer has pledged to cut its in-store plastic packaging made with fossil fuels, as well as other single-use plastics, by ten million pounds by 2024.

Wegmans currently operates a network of 107 stores across New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina.

The company came first on PEOPLE’s ‘Companies That Care’ list last year and was in fifth place for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies as ranked by Axios Harris.