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Urbana Grocery Store Goes Bagless

Urbana's Common Ground Food Co-op has done away with single-use plastic shopping bags at its registers.

Common Ground's General Manager Jacqueline Hannah predicts that the company's decision to go "bagless" will prevent thousands of plastic bags from ending up in landfills. She encourages customers to start using their own reusable bags, and relying less on plastic grocery store bags that are tossed away immediately.

"You can see the trend happening nationally," Hannah said. "It's actually not really a difficult change to make that can make a big impact. It's simply a change in consciousness."

Back in April, the company asked its customers if they would support not having plastic bags at the registers, and it found that most people backed the plan.

"We knew that we were looking at something people were ready for," Hannah said.

Hannah points out that Common Ground is not giving up on shopping bags completely. In fact, the organic grocery store is selling them to people with the profits going to charity. Customers can pay $0.10 for a paper bag, or $0.99 for a reusable bag. There is also a section in the store where people can donate bags for other customers to use.

There are grocery stores across the country in states like Oregon, Colorado, and New York that have instituted similar policies. California came close last year to becoming the first state to ban plastic shopping bags, but lawmakers rejected the measure.

Categories: Environment, Health