Whole Foods Market has stopped offering plastic grocery bags to customers at its two stores in its corporate hometown of Austin, Texas. Paper bags made exclusively for Whole Foods from 100% recycled content will continue to be an option for shoppers.
“Let’s face it, plastic bags fill landfills, harm our water systems and wildlife, and litter our roadsides and communities. We are discontinuing the use of these bags in support of our core value of ‘caring for our communities and our environment,’ which includes adopting wise environmental practices,” said Seth Stutzman, Whole Foods Market’s Southwest regional VP.
The chain said the decision to discontinue using plastic bags in Austin is the first step in its plan to ban such bags companywide by early 2008.
In related news, Whole Foods continues to integrate sustainability and energy conservation into the design and operation of its buildings. Its new store in Sugar Land, Texas, features a leaf-shaped roof, which serves as a rainwater collection system to be used as irrigation for the extensive plaza landscaping. In addition, this design provides natural light throughout the day, reducing the demands for artificial lighting in the 50,000 sq. ft. of retail space.