Big news from SPUD HQ! We are very very very excited to announce that we’re taking a major step towards sustainability and reducing our use of plastic bags, something our world has way too many of. We are officially pilot testing reusable produce bags!
Why does this matter?
We try to pack as many produce items as possible loose in bins to reduce the amount of packaging used. This means we avoid packaging all together, which is the best possible outcome when you’re working towards zero waste.
However, many produce items are small and need to be packaged together so they don’t roll around and get squished. Currently we use oxo-degradable bio bags, which lay somewhere between the recycle and the dispose levels depending on where they end up at the end of their lives. We pay for soft plastic recycling here at SPUD, so the best solution for these is to put them in your SPUD bin for return. However, we know not all bags end up there. Last year, we purchased almost 1 million (964,000) of these bags for SPUD in our 4 locations. That’s a whole lot of potential waste!
We are pilot testing reusable, washable produce bags in Vancouver this week (Dec 10 – 16) for green beans. We have 344 prototype bags and at the rate we sell green beans we will likely sell out quickly.
Just like our freezer jackets, cooler packs, and other reusable packaging we will collect these bags and sanitize them before they go back out into the world. To make sure we’re maintaining or even improving produce quality we are collecting survey feedback via a hangtag on the bag, along with instructions to return the bag to SPUD. If this pilot project is successful (enough people return the bags) we will hopefully roll out bags across all SPUD locations!
To our knowledge, we are the first in our industry to do this at scale. This is far from the cheapest or easiest way to do things. These bags are a prototype and they won’t be perfect, but it’s a heck of a start. We’re here to change the world and refuse to shy away from a challenge.
How can you help?
- Return your bag – the success of our test depends on us getting enough bags back to make it a truly sustainable solution. We know they’re nice bags and super useful around the house, but please do not hold on to them!
- Fill out our survey – we want to help the environment, but we also want to make sure the quality of our produce remains top notch as well.
- Contact us – Let us know if you love or hate the idea, even if you aren’t one of the 344 people who get to test the bags and beans! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt our lead sustainability campaigner at email@example.com and let us know what you think.
We’re excited this change will reduce our impact on the environment, and we hope you are too!