MARCH 2008

Whole Foods Market eliminates disposable plastic grocery bags

Whole Foods Market will end the use of disposable plastic grocery bags at the checkouts in all of its 270 stores in the United States, Canada and the U.K. with the goal to be plastic bag free by Earth Day, April 22, 2008.

The first United States supermarket to commit to completely eliminating disposable plastic grocery bags to help protect the environment and conserve resources, Whole Foods Market gave out over 50,000 reusable shopping bags to customers.

Whole foods is providing reusable bags.

Each location will work on depleting stocks of disposable plastic bags at the checkouts and will raise awareness about the benefits of reusable bags. Over the next three months, stores will reduce plastic grocery bag inventories and increase selections of reusable bags for purchase.

Whole Foods Market has encouraged shoppers to bring their own bags by offering a refund of $.05 or $.10 at the checkouts, depending on the store. They also sell different types of reusable bags, ranging from canvas to its new large, stylish “A Better Bag”, of which 80 percent of its content comes from recycled plastic bottles and it is economical choice with a cost of only $.99.

“Before Whole Foods Market decided to do away with disposable plastic grocery bags, we ran tests in San Francisco, Toronto and Austin. Customers have overwhelmingly supported the program by Whole Foods Market in these cities and applauded the progressive stance taken,” said A.C. Gallo, co-president and chief operating officer for Whole Foods Market.

Although the grocer hopes to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags, the Company will continue to offer an environmentally sensitive option when needed.