Reusable Bag Update August 2011

August 4, 2011

In April of 2010 we announced that we would begin charging $.05 and $.10 surcharges for plastic and paper bags. We were a bit nervous about doing this, since at the time there were limited numbers of retailers acting upon the issue of bag usage.   But we felt strongly that reducing the number of disposable bags entering the waste stream was also a great start to getting everyone thinking more closely about resource usage in general. 

We think that we have far surpassed our expectation in this area!  Here are the statistics we have so far:

  • During the year prior to April 22, 2010, we returned 42,291 nickels to customers who used their own bags.
  • Since the time when we announced our bag surcharge (April 2010) through the following one year, we returned  56,610 nickels to customers who brought their own bags. 
    This is a 25% increase in reusable bag usage over one year's time!
  • Using the year so far to create some projections, we estimate that we will increase reusable bag usage by another 5% in the current year. 
  • Used twice a week for two years, each one can replace approximately 832 plastic bags over its lifetime.

To make all the bags we use each year, it takes 14 million trees for paper and 12 million barrels of oil for plastic. The production of paper bags creates 70 percent more air pollution than plastic, but plastic bags create four times the solid waste — enough to fill the Empire State Building two and a half times. And they can last up to a thousand years.1

It's obvious that reusable is the way to go! So thanks for your contribution and keep up the good work!

We are still selling our reusable bags at substantially reduced prices.

 Abundance Tote

  • $5.99
  • American Made
  • Member / Licensee of the Fair Labor Association
  • Manufactures with the Least Impact on the Environment
  • Certified Organic Cotton

 CO+OP Tote

  • 99¢
  • Lightweight and strong, includes a bottom stiffener for stability.
  • Non-woven polypropylene (NWPP) is a flexible, virgin plastic material with a texture similar to surgical cloth.
  • NWPP is recyclable (marked #5), non-toxic, allergy-free and non-reactive to human skin.
  • NWPP is machine washable in cold water (line dry).
  • Uses the resources of 11 plastic bags, but is designed to replace hundreds.
  • Verité Certified - manufactured in a Chinese facility partnered with Verité, an independent, non-profit, socially responsible auditing, training, capability building and research organization whose mission is to ensure that people worldwide work under safe, fair and legal working conditions. 

Other stylish bag options are available.

1 From Paper or Plastic - What's the Greener Choice?

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Rochester, NY 14607
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