Reuse and Save at the Co-op
By Cristin Burns, Marketing Manager
Beginning Saturday, April 21, New Leaf Market is taking its efforts to reduce paper waste to the next level with a $0.03 incentive for every reusable bag used at the register. This makes New Leaf Market the first grocery store in Tallahassee to offer a reusable bag cash incentive.
“Efforts to reduce paper waste are not new to us,” said General Manager Larrane Hartridge. The Co-op has increased its office waste recycling, recycled over 66 tons of cardboard last year, and sells its reusable bags at cost to make them more affordable to customers. “We are hopeful,” said Hartridge, “that this reusable bag incentive will drastically reduce the use of paper grocery bags at New Leaf Market.”
How much stands to be saved? A whole lot! The Co-op uses over 365,000 100-percent recycled paper grocery bags a year. According to the EPA, Americans currently recycle 19.4 percent of paper bags. A ten percent reduction in paper bag use saves 28,000 New Leaf Market bags from the landfill. And there’s the energy it takes to make paper bags.
While paper bags are thought of as more natural than plastic, paper bag production takes more than four times as much energy (2,511 BTU) than plastic (594 BTU). Any reduction of paper bag use also reduces the fuel needed for harvesting the wood pulp, manufacturing, transportation, and disposal.
“We know that bringing your own bags can be a chore, but we’re confident that our customers are ready to help us reduce paper at New Leaf Market,” says Front End Manager Adriane Pitt. “Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be paper bag free!”
But New Leaf Market’s environmental efforts don’t stop with paper. In addition to green cleaning, expired food donations and numerous recycling programs, new cutting edge LED lights will soon we installed throughout the store, which are projected to save up to 50 percent of energy. Stay tuned for details!