General Meeting May 28th - Plastic Bag Phase Out Vote

At the General Meeting on Tuesday, May 28, Coop members will be asked to vote on the following proposal:

"To phase out the free distribution of plastic roll bags on the Coop’s shopping floor by 6 months from the date of the GM vote. Shoppers are welcome to reuse plastic bags already taken from the Coop and elsewhere. Environmental Committee and other concerned Coop members will continue to work with our General Coordinators to educate our membership, provide a wider range of light-weight reusable bags for purchase, and determine the most equitable and sustainable adjustments for weighing produce and bulk products."

The Environmental Committee has sponsored this proposal with the support of many concerned Coop members, in ongoing dialogue with our General Coordinators. We welcome the growing awareness and discussion of this issue in the Gazette, at General Meetings and elsewhere, and want everyone to understand the issues at stake.

Our Mission Statement and Environmental Policy commit the Coop to what is known as a “triple bottom line,” or TBL. First introduced in the mid-1990s as an accounting framework to evaluate the sustainability of business ventures, the TBL integrates concern for the “three P’s” of Profits, People, and the Planet.

In other words, the Coop is obligated in its bottom-line impact to balance financial success with social and environmental sustainability.

Read more of this recent Committee Report in The Line Waiter's Gazette (PDF) and join us at the May 28th General Meeting!
  • The meeting is at Middle School 51, 5th Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets at 7pm. 
  • If you would like to get work slot credit for attending the meeting, please remember to use the signup sheet near the front elevator.


MichaelB said…
Here's what would help me decide whether to support your proposal: A clearly defined vision of how things might work after the phase-out. Specifically I would like to know what options might be available to those members who have failed to bring reusable bags on a particular shop. I did look at the alternative bag choices you identify (, but they're all quite pricey and thus less than suitable as emergency backups.

I recognize that details like these are beyond the scope of your proposal, since they would need to be worked out by the General Coordinators and others. However, I don't think that should preclude you from presenting a vision of how things could work. For me this would show that you recognize and have addressed the practical issues involved in making a change like this.

Full disclosure: I don't use our plastic bags, and I don't think anyone should. However, I also recognize that our membership is very diverse and that many will view this proposal as one big pointless pain in the butt. In order to gain my vote, and I believe the vote of many others, I need to believe that your proposal not only recognizes that fact but includes the means to address it, at least to the extent possible.