Plastic is the number one polluter of our oceans.
“At New Pioneer, we are more than a cooperative grocery featuring local and organic food and products. We also have a commitment to the environment. Plastic never truly degrades in the environment: once it's made, we're stuck with it forever,” explains New Pi Marketing Manager Jenifer Angerer.
New Pi has been working with the 100 Grannies environmental organization on this effort.
Per 100 Grannies, Americans use over 380 billion polyethylene bags and wraps per year, requiring an estimated 12 million barrels of oil to make these single-use plastics – and of those 380 billion, only 5% are recycled.
Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photo-degrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits that contaminate soil and waterways. They then enter the food chain as animals ingest them.
As estimated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, ocean debris worldwide kills at least 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals each year.
Plastic produce bags (biodegradable whenever available) and paper bags are still available at New Pi, at no charge:
“Our paper bags are made from 100% recycled Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper, with water-based inks and starch-based adhesives so they are completely recyclable and 100% compostable,” says New Pi Education & Outreach Coordinator Theresa Carbrey.
“Of course, we continue to believe that the best answer to the question ‘Paper or plastic?’ is neither, and that reusable bags are the answer,” Theresa adds. We will give away reusable bags for several days, once plastic bags are no longer available, later this month.
“Using a reusable bag over and over again to carry goods from the store to your own door could save 350-500 plastic bags per person every year. If everyone made this small change to reusable bags," Jenifer explains, "we would make a very positive impact on our environment and affect the way we see all single-use plastics.”