Market Garden abolishes plastic grocery bags

POSTED: 01/29/11 1:50 PM

Initiative saves environment more than half a million bags per year

St. Maarten – Market Garden has said farewell to plastic grocery bags, a move that follows an earlier move by the Cakehouse supermarket. Director Dough Tannehill told reporters yesterday morning that he is looking into replacing the plastic that is still used for vegetables and fruit with a biodegradable product as well.
Tannehill said that his supermarket went on average through between 10,000 and 15,000 plastic grocery bags per week, putting the estimated total for Market Garden alone at between 520,000 and 780,000 per year. It is fair to say that from now on, more than half a million grocery bags less will end up on the landfill or in our environment.
Shoppers at Market Garden will have to bring their own bags, or they can buy one or more re-usable shopping bags at the check out for $2 apiece.
“Our motive is to do what is right for the environment,” Tannehill said. For years consumers have been provided with plastic bags and we have seen the littering of the environment because of it. When we abolished the plastic bags it was a challenge for some customers, and a shock to others, but it is unique and we feel that we are setting the pace with this initiative.”
Tannehill said that he had seen pictures on the Internet of the damage plastic bags are able to do to the environment, and that customers, once they have heard an explanation about the reason for abolishing plastic, are actually quite satisfied.
St. Maarten Pride Foundation president Jadira Veen was at hand for a photo-op with Tannehill to celebrate the arrival of the second plastic-free supermarket.
She said that bags for vegetables and fruit are available in biodegradable plastic these days. Tannehill said that he was going to look into this, so in the near future the plastic may disappear from the vegetable department as well.
“We want to minimize our carbon footprint,” Tannehill said. We’re saving the earth one bag at a time. Many customers have reacted positively. There were of course also a few negative comments but once we explained what the challenges are for the island they all understood why we are doing this.”

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