Big Y in the News
Headquartered in Springfield, MA, Big Y is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. Proud to be family owned and operated, we operate almost 80 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts with over 11,000 employees. Big Y has been named a 2015 Employer of Choice by the Employers Association of the Northeast. Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D'Amour, the store was named after an intersection in Chicopee, Massachusetts where two roads converge to form a "Y".
Big Y in the News contains excerpts from press releases that have been sent to local media.
Big Y Express Says Goodbye to Plastic Bags
SPRINGFIELD, MA (April 16th, 2019)
As part of Big Y Foods, Inc.’s recent announcement to phase out of single use plastic bags at their checkouts, their Big Y Express Gas and Convenience locations will be the first division in the 80 store company to eliminate these bags as of 4/22/19. Currently, Big Y Express in Lee, MA is the only gas and convenience location without these bags as part of that town’s ordinance. Now, the other 8 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 5 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 their checkouts in 2020. The elimination of these bags at their 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, MA 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.”
Big Y recognizes its responsibility to cut down on unnecessary plastic waste that contributes to litter, harms the environment and can endanger wildlife. Currently, Big Y uses 100 million plastic bags and 3.5 million paper bags at their checkouts each year. They collect single use plastic bags from customers at each store and sends them to recycling plants for use in decking. Other sustainability efforts include almost daily donations to the 5 food banks within Big Y’s marketing area including meat, fruits and vegetables, and bakery items. Their locations also participate in paper and cardboard recycling programs and composting. In addition, they have championed other energy saving initiatives such as the use of solar arrays, LED lighting, and even electric car charging stations to help protect the environment and conserve natural resources.