Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, with 36 stores currently in Colorado, Texas, Utah and New Mexico, went totally bag-free on Earth Day 2009. Natural Grocers provides no carry-out bag at the point of purchase. Shoppers bring their own recurrent tote bags or use recycled boxes.
In a press release on April 20, 2010, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage estimated that it had prevented from entering our landfills and waterways, approximately 13 million plastic bags and paper bags and 1.3 million pounds of paper. The company expects to save 16 million paper bags and 1.5 million pounds of paper from landfills and waterways from Earth Day 2010 to Earth Day 2011. The company also recycles nearly 100% of its shipping cardboard and plastic wrap.
"We became impatient waiting for our stores' local municipalities and other retailers to recognize the impact of bags on the environment, so we took matters into our own hands," said Kemper Isely, co-president.
"First, we stopped offering plastic bags in all stores as of Earth Day 2008, and stopped both plastic and paper bags in our new stores. As of Earth Day, 2009, all our stores became completely bag free. The result? Customers still come in, and most really like the policy. There is money saved on both ends and, best of all, we are showing that it can be done -- customers and retailer together protecting our environment in a very simple way.
About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Best known for its Every Day Affordable prices and high quality standards (such as selling only USDA organic produce; no products with artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives, and no meats raised using added hormones or antibiotics, for example), the chain also has a 55-year commitment to being environmentally responsible.
Since 1955, Colorado-based, family owned, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has grown from the "Mom & Pop" grass-roots business started by Margaret & Phillip Isely, to a growing national chain employing over 1,000 employees to date and still run by their children and grandchildren. The original family goal to offer every day affordable prices is the foundation of their business, enabling everyone to afford the products necessary to maintain their own healthcare. Education and customer service are the cornerstone of Natural Grocers, as evidenced by their in-store nutritional support programs, Free Nutritional Coaches and Free public health and wellness seminars.
Natural Grocers provides over 25,000 organic and natural products, only 100% certified organic produce, body care products and one of the nation’s largest selections of vitamins, minerals and herbs, combined with a knowledgeable and trained staff. Visit www.naturalgrocers.com for more information and store locations.