This Vancouver market has created a free ‘Reusable Bag Library’

A Vancouver market has come up with a genius way to help people kick plastic bags for good.

Be Fresh Local Market, a grocery store and café chain offering local and organic food, has created a free “library” of reusable bags that customers can borrow from and contribute to at its Kitsilano market.

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The market, at Cypress and West First, is launching its Reusable Bag Library with more than 160 laundered, reusable bags available for borrowing on Jan. 8.

The store’s manager Ashley Sugar, who sparked the idea, said both staff and customers had been more than happy to contribute to the project to help get it going.

“When I shared the concept of a reusable bag library to my staff, they were very eager to get it off the ground,” she said. “I feel very lucky to work with people that see their job as a place where they can promote sustainability and live their values.

“Customers [have brought] in five to eight [reusable bags] on average and are so happy when they do.”

Now that the library has a large inventory of donated bags, they are inviting the public to use it.

“All we need now is for our community to support the initiative by donating bags as well as by borrowing them so that we can create real change,” Sugar said.

Customers can ask any Be Fresh staff members at the checkout about the reusable bag program if they forget to bring their own bags. The bags are free to borrow and aren’t tracked; however, Sugar said, the expectation is that they are eventually returned to the store so that the program always has a supply of bags to offer its customers.

Be Fresh staff hope the program will set an example to retailers of how they can eliminate the distribution of single-use grocery bags.

“As the City of Vancouver slowly rolls out its single-use item reduction strategy, which calls for a ban on single-use plastic bags in January of 2021, this program highlights a tangible way that businesses can begin transitioning away from single-use,” a Be Fresh release stated.

If the program is successful at the Cypress and West First location, the Reusable Bag Library will expand to the other Be Fresh stores.

Read the original article here.

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