BYOBB: Bring Your Own Bulk Bag

Co-op members and shoppers are a conscientious lot. Our shoppers were making the switch to reusable grocery bags many years ago now, long before the idea caught on en masse.

Now we need your help to spread the word about another planet-friendly switch anyone can make: choosing reusable bags when shopping bulk! Show your Co-op colors while you shop and look for our awesome new reusable bags in the bulk departments now.

Why Reusable Bulk Bags?

A winding Vermont road through a patch of small homes and sugar maples looks out over a pristine pond. The only blemish is along the pond’s banks, where plastic bags of all shapes and sizes have piled up in a spongy mass, bags that may take a thousand years to decompose.

Plastic bags are choking the planet and the wildlife that lives on it. Plastic bags are made from fossil fuels, are rarely recycled, and most end up in our fields and streams and oceans. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, up to a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. The bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, then discarded.

It requires vast amounts of natural resources, water, and energy to manufacture and ship disposable bags. The process produces a billion pounds of solid waste and 2.7 million tons of CO2 per year. There’s even a giant, continent-sized heap of mostly plastic waste floating in the Pacific Ocean, a heap that grows larger each day. The Sierra Club estimates that 1 million birds and tens of thousands of sea animals die each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags.

What Can You Do?

The good news is that anytime you switch from plastic to reusable bags, you’re making a difference. It may seem like a small difference, but the switch to reusable shopping bags is already paying off because the idea caught on quick and many are doing it around the world. Switching to reusable bulk bags can have the same impact.

The switch starts with you! Bring your own bulk containers or look for our reusable bags in the bulk departments. Got a question? Contact the Co-op Outreach Department at


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Ken Davis

Ken Davis is the Co-op's senior copywriter. Email him at