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Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage stores last week went completely “bag free,” offering no paper or plastic shopping bags at any of its 31 stores, and said that all new stores would be bag-free.
“From our six bag-free stores in 2008 we saved at least 534,909 bags,” said company co-president Kemper Isely. “By going bag-free at all of our stores we will save an additional 16,000 bags per day --this adds up to almost 6 million bags over the next 12 months that our customers won’t be contributing to the environment.”
Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers made the move away from plastic shopping bags as a result of growing concerns about the ubiquitous bags’ reputation as an immense environmental threat, but continued to offer customers paper shopping bags
On Earth Day, Natural Grocers gave each customer a free reusable bag with their purchase; moving forward, each store will continue to provide customers with free recycled cardboard boxes to pack their groceries, in addition to a variety of reusable bag options, ranging in price from 99 cents to $5.99.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage operates stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and soon Utah.