Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coop Bans Bags

Members of the Park Slope Food Co-op, voted nearly unanimously to stop making plastic shopping bags available at the checkout counter. In doing so, the 14,000-member grocery store is now in good company with bag-banning locales like Rwanda, Uganda, Bangladesh, China, San Francisco and the Republic of Whole Foods - and the Brooklyn Green Team's No Plastic Bag Challenge! It was the second environmental triumph for the Co-op in as many months; in April, the Union Street supermarket voted to stop selling bottled water. In both cases, the well-being of the planet was cited as the motivation — like water bottles, plastic bags are made from petroleum — and the notion of customer convenience was dismissed.

“We don’t need them. Some people say they reuse them, but how many times? Once, twice? That’s no big savings. It will be hard to give up plastic bags, but we can do it. We don’t need them! We can do it! It should be done. It must be done.”

Co-op member Barbara Kancelbaum presented plastic bags’ sins: they cause pollution during their manufacture, they consume 12 million barrels of oil per year, they take 1,000 years to degrade, and it costs more to recycle them than to just make a new bag.

Nice Work!

Read on at the Brooklyn Paper