Whole Foods Plans Ban on Plastic Bags

Whole Foods Market announced that it will no longer offer plastic grocery bags at the checkouts in its two stores in Austin, Texas, where the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket is headquartered.

"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 vice president. "By partnering with our shoppers, we can together bring the plastic bag issue to the forefront in Austin to help protect the environment in our hometown and our planet at large."

Eliminating plastic grocery bags at its Austin checkout counters will be a test for the company and will serves as the first step to ban such bags companywide by early next year. Paper bags made exclusively for Whole Foods Market from 100 percent recycled content will continue to be an option for shoppers.

"Day by day, bag by bag, we can really make a difference by choosing alternatives to plastic at retail checkout counters. As the first major grocer in the area to take such an aggressive stand to protect the environment, I applaud our homegrown Austin grocer, Whole Foods Market, for leading this charge of awareness and I challenge other Austin retailers to look for alternatives to plastic bags at the checkout counter," said Austin City Council Member Lee Leffingwell.

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