Friday, June 20, 2008

Plastic Produce Bags: Can We Reduce Their Numbers?

Now that the Coop's stopped providing plastic "t-shirt" bags at checkout, the Environmental Committee is cosponsoring a discussion item about reducing the usage of the thin roll bags used for produce and bulk items. It hasn't been scheduled for a General Meeting yet -- we will keep you posted.

In the meantime, we invite you to help us brainstorm this issue! Some of the ideas that we've come up with at our meetings are: charging for them (and having a swipe card attached to the checkout stations that can be swiped for each bag used, so that the checkout person doesn't have to spend time searching the menu each time a roll bag is passed before them), a roll bag vending machine (buy only what you need!), selling boxes of roll bags, and offering alternatives such as muslin bags (reusable and washable).

An anonymous comment came through earlier this week letting us know about a store that recycles containers and provides them for shoppers featured over at the No Impact Man blog. It's a great idea, but the Coop's space is so tight, I wonder if there would be room (ditto for the vending machine, for that matter).

2 comments:

sarah said...

one start might be making cloth bag alternatives easier to find/purchase in the co-op. especially different sizes and varieties for both produce and bulk. thanks!

Maura said...

I agree, and will look into this. I've often seen muslin bags as well as the green plastic produce-saver bags in the Coop, typically over the paper products. But if we'd like them to be used as roll bag alternatives they most definitely should be near the produce and bulk items!