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Source: Sayville Patch

Study Analyzes Reusable Bag Policies at Grocery Stores

Stop & Shop and Pathmark score well.

BY DENISE NASH

Posted: August 9, 2010
Originally Published: August 9, 2010

A Long Island nonprofit group, Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE), recently released the results of their study entitled "BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag): Reusable Bag Policies at Long Island Grocery Stores."

Sayville's two major grocery stores, Pathmark and Stop and Shop, scored well.

CCE staff analyzed and evaluated reusable bag policies of 14 Long Island grocery store chains. Grades range from A+ to F. Topping the list is Whole Foods and Stop and Shop both receiving an A+. Pathmark received a B+, while Trader Joes, King Kullen, and Uncle Giuseppes achieved a grade of F.

Stop and Shop was the only store that had extensive signage in parking lots and outside stores to remind shoppers to grab their bags from their car. They "give shoppers a nickel back for every reusable bag they use, and the store also strategically places big, bold signage in the parking lot and at the entrance of the store to remind consumers to bring their reusable bags into the store instead of accidentally leaving them in the car," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Stores were graded on sale and promotion of reusable bags, signage within the store and in parking lots to remind consumers to bring bags, monetary incentives, educating employees, and on their willingness to engage in consumer education on reusable bags.

"Grocery stores have helped create the problem of disposable bags and now we need them to help solve this problem," said Esposito. "We hope all stores use this report as an opportunity to implement policies that encourage consumers to make the switch to reusable bags. We believe that a partnership of massive public education can be significantly effective in reducing plastic and disposable bag use."

According to CCE, the report is designed to educate both businesses and the public on the dangers of using disposable bags, which litter beaches, parks, highways, playgrounds and landscapes, as well as result in clogging storm drains, polluting our oceans, bays, and estuaries, and kill wildlife.

"The report highlights grocery stores that are engaging in positive efforts to incentivize consumers to use reusable bags, which are better for our environment. Our goal is for the public to become more educated on these dangers and make the necessary switch to sturdy, reusable bags," said Maureen Dolan Murphy, Executive Programs Manager, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

"The Citizens Campaign for the Environment has raised the important issue about the responsibility that retailers have in helping our customers protect the environment," said Faith Weiner, Stop & Shop Director of Public Affairs. "Stop & Shop has long taken a proactive approach to working with federal, state and local officials to support efforts that will make a real difference in this area. In addition to the industry leading program regarding reusable bags highlighted by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment report Stop & Shop also takes great pride in the other programs we have instituted to protect our precious natural resources."

Neighboring Best Yet in Oakdale received a C+. "They do not credit consumers for bringing their own bags, but they received points for selling bags under .99 cents," said Esposito. "The Best Yet bags are big and durable and among our favorite, however, we are hopeful Best Yet will join with the seven other grocery chains who provide a monetary incentive for consumers who use reusable bags."

For more information on CCE, visit their website. For a copy of the full report click here.