Think reuse!

Bring your own bag (BYOB)

Sound Consumer | October 2007

(October 2007) — PCC’s decision to discontinue plastic shopping bags as of October 1 is evoking an overwhelmingly positive response.

Members and shoppers seem to be embracing the intent of the decision — to encourage reuse of any shopping bag. PCC store personnel report that the number of reusable PCC totes sold is up significantly and so is the number of shoppers bringing their own bags. Thank you!

A committee of PCC staff had assembled earlier this year to discuss options for responding to concerns about plastic bags, which include toxic emissions from their manufacture and the hazards posed to human health and wildlife. With the aid of internal research and external expertise, the committee examined all commercially available alternatives.

There was debate and disagreement over whether or not to charge shoppers for any new bag — paper or plastic. PCC also is aware that eliminating plastic shopping bags addresses only part of the problem with plastic; what about plastic produce and bulk bags, and plastic ware in the delis?

The committee discussed concerns about paper bags, too. They’re made from a renewable resource and compost and degrade easily. But paper requires considerable energy to manufacture and transport, and paper bags cost three times more than plastic bags.

Finally, the committee unanimously recommended a definitive move away from plastic bags while still offering paper bags at no charge. PCC’s CEO, Tracy Wolpert, and CFO, Randy Lee, agreed.

It was agreed that in January 2008 PCC will boost its campaign to promote bag reuse. PCC also has a date with a Seattle city councilman to discuss a citywide policy on plastic bags, and we’re talking with a state representative who’s interested in proposing a state policy.

On our own, PCC’s decision will eliminate 3.3 million plastic bags every year. But it’s up to you, our shoppers, to reduce dependence on paper bags, too, by bringing your own bag.

Think reuse! BYOB!

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