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    Ukrop's Promoting Holiday Grocery Bags as Wrapping Paper

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Ukrop's Super Markets, Inc. is dreaming of a green Christmas this year, as the regional retailer has been reminding its customers to consider using its special holiday-themed paper bags as environmentally friendly gift wrap.

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Ukrop's Super Markets, Inc. is dreaming of a green Christmas this year, as the regional retailer has been reminding its customers to consider using its special holiday-themed paper bags as environmentally friendly gift wrap.

    The recyclable paper bags -- decorated with a holiday theme -- are available as a bagging option at all 29 Ukrop's locations. Ukrop's said this effort is part of a larger program to reduce, reuse, and recycle in its operations.

    "Our 2007 holiday paper bags can easily be used for gift wrap," said Scott Aronson, v.p. of marketing and analysis at Ukrop's, in a statement. "We intentionally didn't put any logos on the bags, so our customers can repurpose the bags as gift wrap. It's one small way that we can help our customers with their holiday preparations while doing something good for the environment."

    Ukrop's introduced a reusable, mesh grocery bag to customers for 99 cents each in mid-September. The bags, which are made of 100 percent new, non-woven polypropylene, can hold up to 35 pounds, according to the company. They are water-repellent and durable for spot cleaning or machine washings but not drying.

    Customers who bring a reusable bag or their own paper bag when purchasing groceries receive a credit of five cents per paper or reusable bag. Ukrop's increased this amount from four cents in
    April 2007.

    "We've sold about 80,000 reusable, mesh grocery bags since September," Aronson added. "Since then, customers have reused their mesh bags and received a five-cent credit 162,470 times. Also, our customers have reused paper bags and received a five-cent credit 212,688 times since we started the mesh bag program. We hope the numbers will continue to grow as we remind our customers about the value of recycling."

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