Dl woman 'just says no' to plastic bags -- some retailers are going 'green' with plastic
Some people don't make changes because they think, "'What can one person do?' But it's how a lot of things get started." So says Hazel Harvego, 88, who may be that one person for this area. Harvego has stopped using plastic bags to go grocery sho...
Some people don't make changes because they think, "'What can one person do?' But it's how a lot of things get started."
So says Hazel Harvego, 88, who may be that one person for this area.
Harvego has stopped using plastic bags to go grocery shopping, and is hoping others will follow suit. Instead she brings along three reusable, cloth bags and forgoes the use of plastic.
She said part of her decision came from the fact that it takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to go back into the earth.
"What in the world is that made of?" she questioned.
"I won't make use of it, but (what about) the future generations?" she added about damaging the planet.
Harvego said besides saving the planet from the likes of plastic, the reusable cloth bags are also easier to carry because of the handles.
Central Market is also setting the standard, working to get rid of plastic.
"Years ago we used paper, then they wanted us to go to plastic," General Manager Dan Neumeister said.
Years ago, when that was proposed, it was good for the bottom line -- the cost of a paper bag is 4.5 cents, while a plastic bag costs 2 cents. Now, it's about the planet as well as saving money.
"One, it's to save on cost, but ultimately, it's for the environment," he said of the switches Central Market will be doing.
Central Market has started selling cloth reusable bags, and has plans to get rid of or substitute plastic bags, plastic meat trays and plastic deli containers.
Central Market is switching from the plastic bags it uses that are not made from recycled materials to a new plastic bags that is 100 percent made from recycled plastic. The new bags are also bigger, to reduce use of plastic bags, and are stronger so they won't rip as easily.
The bigger plastic bags will allow the same amount of groceries as three of the plastic bags Central Market currently uses.
"Less bags, less bags to recycle," said owner John Lofberg.
As for the deli containers, Lofberg said instead of the thinner plastic containers being used now, the company will switch to reusable containers, with secure fitting lids, people can take home, wash and reuse.
Neumeister and Lofberg estimate that Central Market goes through more than 1.5 million plastic bags a year. With the new bags, that will be cut by a third. Neumeister added that many people still prefer the paper bags.
Another paper product Harvego uses instead of plastic is milk containers. She said she always buys the waxed paper cartons rather than adding more plastic to the mix.
She added that using her bags isn't an inconvenience at all. When she empties them, she puts the bags on her doorknob or by her jacket to take them out to her car the next time.
Central Market may be able to help with the convenience aspect as well. Besides the cloth reusable bags the store is already selling, owner Kathy Dickson said the company is looking into ordering bags that fold up and can fit into a purse.
She added that the growing trend of going green and using reusable bags isn't just one age group either.
"I thought it would be the younger (generation), but it's across the board," she said.
Neumeister said Central Market is in the process of using up and getting rid of the existing plastic bags in order to go green with the recycled, larger plastic bags and the cloth bags.
Not to say plastic isn't wonderful for some items, "but if it's going to destroy the universe, it's not worth it," Harvego said. "There are ways we can all save."
Neumeister said he hopes the green wave will catch on with other companies throughout the lakes area.
"This could be a huge deal for Detroit Lakes."