U.S. Retailers Offer Millions of Reusable Earth Day Bags

U.S. Retailers Offer Millions of Reusable Earth Day Bags

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2013 (ENS) - Today, to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day, millions of reusable bags are being given to shoppers by eco-friendly retailers and grocers.

At Target, the company is celebrating by giving away 1.5 million reusable bags at stores across the country for the second year running. Target's Earth Day giveaway encourages shoppers to take advantage of Target's five-cent reusable bag discount by sweetening the gift with coupon books worth over $40 in savings and samples of healthy products including cookies, laundry detergent and cosmetics.

Super Target store in Omaha, NE.  Released into public domain by author.
Super Target store in Omaha, NE. Released into public domain by author.

"By providing guests free reusable bags and rewarding them with each use, Target helps guests save money and make small changes that add up to make a big difference. Target is committed to helping guests lead more sustainable lifestyles by providing the right information, tools and incentives to make it easy," the company said.

To date, Target customers have used more than 80 million reusable bags instead of paper or plastic.

Disney stores across the country are celebrating Earth Day giving away Free Brave or Cars 2 reusable bags when customers bring in plastic shopping bags to recycle

Tanya Ropella, spokesperson for Disney Consumer Products, said, "Guests can visit their local Disney Store and recycle five plastic bags in exchange for a free, reusable shopping tote - up to 200 guests per store!"

"Our hope is that these reusable shopping totes inspire guests to swap out those plastic bags for a reusable bag wherever and whenever they shop," Ropella said. "Earth Day shoppers can pick between a Brave reusable tote featuring everyone's favorite heroine, Merida, or a Cars reusable tote featuring Lightning McQueen. All Disney Store reusable totes are made from 80 percent recycled materials."

H-E-B markets are offering coupons for a free special edition H-E-B Earth Day reusable bag to all shoppers that drop five plastic single-use bags into the storefront recycling bins. H-E-B will give away a total of 200,000 unique commemorative Earth Day reusable shopping bags on Monday, April 22, from 3 pm to 7 pm.

Based in San Antonio, H-E-B is a 108-year-old company that operates more than 350 stores in Texas and Mexico. "H-E-B takes great pride in making it convenient for our shoppers to make environmentally sustainable choices in their daily lives," said Leticia Mendoza, public affairs specialist, H-E-B Central Texas Region.

Every day at H-E-B, shoppers can select and purchase a variety of artistic designed reusable bags. Five cents from each reusable bag sale, up to a maximum of $50,000, will be donated to Keep Texas Beautiful to support that organization's efforts to beautify and improve community environments.

H-E-B says that by increasing the number of items that go into each bag at checkout, the company has reduced the number of plastic bags it uses. "Adding just one more item to the bag saves us 308 million bags per year!" the company said.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., an 81-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts, is also giving away reuseable bags as an Earth Day 2013 gift to shoppers.

The first 300 customers at each Wegmans store turning in a bag stuffed full of clean bags during the event will get a coupon for a reusable bag. Wegmans says that last year 3.4 million pounds of plastic bags and wrapping made the equivalent of 180,000,000 new bags for its stores. Wegmans plastic bags are made from 40 percent recycled material.

"We're always looking for new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle our resources," says Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans' sustainability coordinator. "We have a responsibility toward future generations to take steps to protect our world today. We want to share with customers what we're doing and invite them to join us on this journey."

U.S. shoppers go through approximately 100 billion single-use plastic shopping bags every year, according to the Worldwatch Institute, and just one to two percent of these bags are ever recycled.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2013. All rights reserved.
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Cover photo: Wegmans Supermarket, Manalapan, NJ. Uploaded to wikipedia.org. Released into public domain.