MOM's Thinking Outside the Bag

ROCKVILLE, Md.-- MOM's -- short for My Organic Market -- a Washington, D.C.-area retail grocer of fresh organic and pre-packaged foods, said yesterday that it had launched its "Think Outside the Bag" initiative to reduce the grocery bags it uses by half.

The plan is to replace the conventional bags with high-quality reusable shopping bags. All shoppers who ask for a bag will receive a free reusable grocery bag. Customers also get a 10-cent rebate every time they reuse a bag. Any shopper whom MOM's staff sees reusing his or her own paper bags will be automatically offered free reusable replacement bags for all groceries bought at that time. The water-resistant reusable bags are made of durable Polyfabric material.

"In just the first year, we estimate this initiative will help our stores eliminate over 350,000 paper and plastic bags," said MOM's president and founder Scott Nash in a statement. "This is another commonsense step MOM's is taking as part of our larger ER [Environmental Restoration] initiative to show that environmental awareness and sound business practices can work hand in hand. Not only will we be protecting the environment, but we'll also be cutting costs in the process."

MOM's introduced its ER Initiative in March, with the aim of helping its employees and shoppers become more aware of the fragile relationship between themselves and the environment. At that time, the retailer said that all MOM's stores would run on 100 percent wind power. MOM's spokeswoman Holly McNamee told Progressive Grocer that all of the grocer's loactions have been converted to wind power, and that the company's goal is to have open 15 more stores by 2015, all also powered by wind.

Founded in 1987, MOM's has stores in Rockville and College Park, Md. and Alexandria, Va., and will be opening a store in Frederick, Md. late next year. The grocer is a founding member of the Clean Energy Partnership, a Silver Spring, Md.-based nonprofit group dedicated to supporting practical solutions to global warming and air pollution.
-- Bridget Goldschmidt
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