Other chains are announcing policy changes, too—here's how they'll affect your grocery run.

By Jennifer Aldrich
March 20, 2020

Reusable bags are an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic that many of us bring along to our grocery trips. However, if you shop at Hy-Vee, you'll have to start leaving your tote at home. The grocery chain just announced customers could no longer use reusable bags.

Hy-Vee, which has more than 265 stores across the Midwest, revealed the news in a press release on Thursday and noted the new policy begins on March 20 and continues until further notice. The reason for the ban on reusable bags is  "because it is not always easy to know the sanitization procedures customers are taking at their homes to keep the bags clean." The change is another way to combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the grocery store notes. Hy-Vee's announcement comes two days after the National Institutes of Health released a study noting the coronavirus can live on surfaces for several hours.

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"The spread of this virus is asking us all to take extraordinary measures and change the way we live our lives," Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO, and president of Hy-Vee, says in the release. "We are continuing to adapt at Hy-Vee so that we can serve our customers and keep everyone in our stores as safe and healthy as possible."

Related: Get Your Groceries Without Leaving the House: Here Are Your Best Online Options

So far, other grocery stores haven't officially said they're discontinuing the use of reusable bags, but that could change soon. (If you bring your reusable bag into another store, make sure you clean them thoroughly before and after your trip.) In the past weeks, supermarkets have announced precautions they're implementing for the foreseeable future. For example, a handful of large grocery chains, including Hy-Vee, Whole Foods, and Target, have adjusted hours and set aside a specific time of day where older individuals can stop in and shop to avoid the crowds.

Although it's an uncertain time, the best thing we can all do is stay inside as much as possible. (Of course, going to get food is necessary.) Fortunately, there are plenty of activities to keep us occupied, including checkout out live-streams of zoos and aquariums around the country and viewing priceless works of art on display at the Smithsonian.

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Comments (1)

Anonymous
March 23, 2020
My state will start banning single use plastic bags in grocery stores on Jan. 1, 2021. So the do-gooders who want to "save the environment" and force everyone to use reusable bags are now going to kill us by spreading viruses like COVID-19 around? Talk about unintended consequences . . .