Environment

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Whole Foods Bans Plastic Bags

January 29, 2008 11:23 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
In an effort to curb pollution, the grocery store chain announces it will no longer use disposable plastic bags. Instead, it will offer customers paper and reusable bags.

30-Second Summary

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On Jan. 22, Whole Foods announced that it plans to end the use of disposable plastic grocery bags in all of its 270 stores by April 22, 2008—Earth Day.

Whole Foods spokeswoman Robin Burton explained why the company has made the change: "We're trying to act out one of our core values, which is supporting and caring for our communities and environment."

On its Web site, Whole Foods provides a Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) section that explains the environmental impact of the change.

“It can take more than a thousand years for a disposable plastic bag to break down in a landfill. Most reusable bags can be used thousands of times and there are so many reusable bag options,” the site reads.

However, much of the waste that comes from the 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps Americans consume each year never makes it to the landfill. Instead it ends up contributing to the glut of trash that finds its way into the oceans.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a mass of waste twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Hawaii. Oceanographers estimate that 80 percent of the patch consists of plastics.

Headline Link: ‘Whole Foods Trashes Plastic Bags’

Background: Whole Foods’ reasons

Related Topics: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch; NYC considers recycling bags

Reference: Plastic bag consumption figures

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