Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whole Foods to Sack Plastic Bags

Free reusable shopping bags given out today in Mountain Brook store.

Organic and natural market giant, Whole Foods Market, will end the use of disposable plastic grocery bags at the checkouts in all of its 270 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. with the goal to be plastic bag-free by Earth Day, April 22.

Officials hope the BYOB(ag) movement makes a lasting impact.

“More and more cities and countries are beginning to place serious restrictions on single-use plastic shopping bags since they don’t break down in our landfills, can harm nature by clogging waterways and endangering wildlife, and litter our roadsides," said A.C. Gallo, co-president and chief operating officer for Whole Foods Market. "Together with our shoppers, our gift to the planet this Earth Day will be reducing our environmental impact as we estimate we will keep 100 million new plastic grocery bags out of our environment between Earth Day and the end of this year alone.”

The first U.S. supermarket to commit to completely eliminating disposable plastic bags , Whole Foods Market has declared today “Bring Your Own Bag Day” and will give out over 50,000 reusable shopping bags to customers at the checkouts this morning to celebrate today’s announcement. “We hope to inspire shoppers to prompt positive environmental change by adopting the reusable bag mindset,” added Gallo.

“Doing away with plastic grocery bags won't just help protect marine life, it's a key move in shifting us away from a 'consume-and-dispose' mentality," says Lisa Mastny, editor of the Worldwatch Institute report Oceans in Peril. “Disposable plastic bags can linger in the environment for more than 1,000 years and are the major debris item found on the seabed, especially near the coast.”