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MOM’s Organic Market, a six-store organic grocery chain in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore metro area, plans to launch a company-wide environmental initiative aimed at reducing plastic use by eliminating all bottled water in its stores. Called “Battle the Bottle,” the program was inspired by the movie “Addicted to Plastic.”
“Societies are truly addicted to plastic, much in the way we are addicted to oil,” said Scott Nash, founder and CEO of Rockville, Md.-based MOM’s. “There are now five swirling masses of plastic in our oceans, each roughly the size of Texas. Plastic never goes away, and the problem will only get worse. The sooner we take action, the better. Not only does plastic damage our environment, but it [also] increases our dependence on oil. The tragic part of our addiction is that, by and large, petroleum-based plastics are not necessary for consumer products and packaging, as we have the technology and innovation to use plastic products that biodegrade.”
Under the program, the grocer will:
—Install water filtration machines in each store so customers can use reusable containers for water purchases, and offer the first gallon free on every visit
—Provide each employee with free countertop home water filters and reusable water containers
—Eliminate bagged potatoes, onions, oranges, salad mixes and other unnecessarily bagged produce, in favor of biodegradable clamshells
Green initiatives already in place at MOM’s include the elimination of plastic grocery bags in 2005; recycling bottles, bags, shrinkwrap and plastic containers; giving styrofoam packing peanuts to UPS and Mailbox stores; using bio-plastic packaging and utensils when choosing which products to sell; urging manufacturers to use biodegradable plastic or less plastic/Styrofoam; the use of wood coffee stirrers; eliminating the use of VCT floor tiles for its three latest store openings and all future openings; and using bio-plastic for its gift certificate cards.
MOM’s operates six stores in the Washington/Baltimore area.