New Pi Eliminates Plastic Bags!

We are pleased to announce we have eliminated handled plastic bags at our checkouts! The change, made in August of 2015, is to reduce our environmental impact on the earth.



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.”

11 thoughts on “New Pi Eliminates Plastic Bags!”

  1. Becky Ross says:

    Thank you for continuing to be a great leader in this community. 100Grannies have been working on eliminating single use plastic bags for over 3 years and we appreciate your action on this matter.

  2. Kat says:

    That is so awesome! I am proud of NewPi for taking a stand and setting an example to other businesses. There really are so many alternatives we have to polluting our earth. So excited that this is happening!

  3. Douglas says:

    Yayyy, New Pi. Time to start making some heavy-duty canvas New Pioneer bags.

  4. Alexandra Tomes says:

    YAY!! I have been a dedicated"bag Lady" for about 20 years - and am so happy the world is catching up! HOORAY New Pi!!

  5. Dianne Dillon-Ridgley says:

    As a 25 year + New Pi member AND member of the 100 Grannies, I am so pleased that New Pi is "making this change/move"! We need thoughtful actions and consumption. While individual actions will not be enough & thinking "my little bit won't matter or is just a drop in the bucket-remember each drop, FILLS the bucket! We still need individual actions AND institutional ones to work together for a healthier, cleaner, safer, sustainable future for EVERYBODY's children!
    Peace, Dianne

  6. Carl Yerington says:

    So glad to see the reusable bags.... a few years ago, I gave a speech with slides about "The Decade of The Slob". Some slides showed plastic bags on barb wire fences, others blowing in the streets, and still more plastic bags everywhere. I Have used reusable net bags for years, first obtaining some in Europe, then at Waste Management conventions (My wife was Refuse Collection Supervisor). I was also showing trash, such as tires, milk containers with old motor oil, cigarette butts dumped in parking lots, paper drink cups laying everywhere they were thrown in the streets. Perhaps this will help some, perhaps we will not have another speech entitled "The Century of the Slob!" Good start, lets keep it going....

  7. Mary Beth says:

    Good for you NEW PI! I have be using my own bags for years (including 1 from great canvas tote I got from New Pi years ago) and it makes me soooooo happy to know that I will no longer see those single use plastic bags at YOUR check-out counters. I thank you as a member of the co-op and 100Grannies for supporting our resolution to end the use of single use plastic bags in Iowa City by Earth Day 2016. "It's great to be a Granny" MB

  8. Kristy Medo says:

    Thanks to New Pi and 100 Grannies for making our world a better place and for creating awarness as to our individual impact on the planet! As a newcomer to Iowa City it reassures me that I'm in a wonderful place and makes me confident that my purchases are going to the hands of environmentally conscious businesses and people. I and the many Albatross that are surrounded by plastic, thank you for your efforts!

  9. Liz says:

    I routinely use reusable bags when shopping at the coop, but have liked the plastic bag option when buying meat -- as a protective layer to reduce/eliminate soilage of those reusable bags. With the elimination of this option, will the Coop be providing any alternative at check-out (paper towels? other?) that folks can use to create an additional layer around meat products to form a barrier against any leakage?

  10. New Pi Eats says:

    Hi Liz! We are retaining plastic produce bags (ordering biodegradable ones whenever possible) expressly for this reason, so we will still be able to wrap your packages of meat, etc. at the check-out whenever you'd like to prevent them from soiling your bags. Great question. Thanks so much for reading and for bringing your reusable bags! -a

  11. Roger says:

    WOW, Don't think this ban is based on good science. If you do the research you will find the carbon footprint if a plastic bag is significantly less than a paper bag, reusable bags are not recyclable, must be washed wasting another precious resource and a huge carbon footprint. So it would appear that only one environmental aspect of the plastic bag has been investigated. It not a bag problem, it's a behavior problem. People don't properly dispose of things or recycle. That's not the bags fault.
    Is it possible that 100 Grannies could be providing bad information? 12 million barrels of oil would be saved???, again do you research. Plastic bags feedstock is natural gas not oil. Need to make sure of the facts, not believing what you think.

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