Shopping Bag Reduction Program is Working

I want to boast that our Shopping Bag Reduction Program is Working!

We reward people with a 5 cent discount on their purchase when they bring their own bag (shopping, plastic bag, or produce mesh bag) or container (a mason jar, maple syrup bottle, etc) to reuse. I am sure that most of our customers would do this even if there wasn’t some kind of reward system because they wish to reduce their own personal contribution to the waste stream (#ZeroWaste, #WasteFree, etc).

We had two store locations in 2015, 2016 and 2017 so the numbers that I have a little higher than we can possibly expect this year… unless more people start to refilling and reusing containers and bags.

So, this is what we paid out in money and the number of containers and bags our customers reused.

  • 2015      $3.363.25     67,265 items
  • 2016      $3,832.00    76,640 items
  • 2017      $3,673.90     73,478 items (we closed the downtown store in October).

I am super impressed by the numbers and our customers. Thank you, EVERYONE! I think it is very impressive when you see the total numbers for the year. When we work together we can accomplish a HUGE change! (The number is likely higher because sometimes we forget to give the 5 cent credit). We also give a five-cent credit when people don’t take a bag when they would normally be given one because it is all about reduction.

Several years ago, the Real Canadian Superstore implemented a 5 cent per bag and they have reduced their consumption by 3.5 BILLION Bags. That is impressive.

Back in 2016, I wrote a post about the bags we have reused over the year and diverted from the landfill. It was called Reused Bags are Beautiful! Check it out.

People donate their thin film single-use plastic bags, their extra reusable shopping bags, paper bags (please note that people that shop at our ‘competitors’ drop off bags from their while they are here – #OneLessBag doesn’t care whose names are on the outside).

You can help spread this consciousness throughout Edmonton through your own social media. Use the #Hashtags #BreakFreeFromPlastics, #OneLessBag, #1Lessbag, #ZeroWaste, #WasteFree, #RefillDontLandfill, #ReuseDontLandfill, etc. You can tag us at @EarthsGeneral (Twitter), @EarthsGeneralStore (Facebook and Instagram).

Check out the number of containers and bags that this person refilled and thus avoided these items going into the landfill or recycling waste streams.

Our Shopping Bag Reduction Program is Working

But we can and will do more. We are already recycling 100% of our cardboard. 100% of our compostables are heading off to feed animals or to be composted, all of our paper, plastic, metal, and glass is recycled, and we try to divert foods and items to people in need when we can do so. We plan on introducing more zero waste components to the store so that you can buy more products without any packaging.

Check out the local Ban the Bag! Edmonton campaign and keep up to date. You can also sign the petition to city council about implementing a

You can also help move the conversation about single-use plastic bags by signing the petition to ban them.  Of course, it might be some other mechanism that is used but what my co-campaigner and I would like to see is a major reduction in the use of single-use plastic bags. You can also write to the City of Edmonton Councillors (see this webpage to find you councillor)