Whole Foods Chain to Stop Use of Plastic Bags

Keep away from children

We knew this was coming sooner or later, and it might soon spread to a grocery store near you. Of course, hemp makes a damn good resin, and would be easily grown, yadda yadda, but even the suggestion of allowing (non-smokable) Plants-of-the-Devil be used for industrial purposes might get you investigated by the DEA and their cohorts in crime.

The decision comes as plastic bags are increasingly being discouraged or banned by governments and retailers because of concerns about their environmental impact. The Whole Foods Market chain said Tuesday that it would stop offering plastic grocery bags, giving customers instead a choice between recycled paper or reusable bags.

A rising number of governments and retailers are banning plastic bags, or discouraging their use, because of concerns about their environmental impact. San Francisco banned plastic bags last year unless they are of a type that breaks down easily. China announced a crackdown on plastic bags a few weeks ago, while other governments, including New York City’s, are making sure retailers offer plastic bag recycling.

Whole Foods officials said they had hoped to eliminate plastic bags for some time but had to decide how to make it work in the chain’s 270 stores.

A. C. Gallo, the company’s co-president and chief operating officer, said Whole Foods tried to get customers to buy reusable bags for several years but “it really never caught on.” That changed when the grocery chain began offering reusable bags for 99 cents, he said.

In addition, he said, Whole Foods was given a test run of sorts when San Francisco banned plastic bags last year. The number of paper bags used in the San Francisco stores increased a mere 10 percent, he said, suggesting that some customers switched to reusable bags.

Two other trial runs, in Toronto and in Austin, Tex., also went well enough that Whole Foods executives felt confident broadening the plastic bag ban to all its stores. It will take effect by April 22, Earth Day. [From Whole Foods Chain to Stop Use of Plastic Bags]

Regardless, a bold move by Whole Foods, kudos.

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on January 22, 2008 8:39 PM.

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