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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- When asked "paper or plastic," 90 percent of shoppers opt for the latter which has spurred companies like Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to think globally and act locally.
This Earth Day the 61-store chain will offer customers "bags for life," a 100 percent recycled, reusable grocery bag that lessens the impact on the environment. "We want to make it easier for our customers to make more environmentally friendly decisions," Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy CEO said in a released statement. "If everyone in the neighborhood shops with reusable bags, we can really make a difference."
To date, Fresh & Easy offers its customers two different types of reusable bags, including a $2.50 canvas bag and a plastic reusable "bag for life," which retails for 20 cents. Mason explained that "bag for life" is larger and more durable than standard grocery bag and, if damaged, is replaced for free, forever.
The "bags for life" program underscores Fresh & Easy commitment to the environment. For example, the company only sells energy efficient light bulbs, uses LED lighting in external signs and freezer cases, offers plastic, aluminum and glass recycling, and provides preferred parking for hybrid vehicles, explained Mason.
The company's commitment goes beyond recycled bags and energy efficient bulbs. It has committed to build LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings and voluntarily joined the California Climate Action Registry to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions. At its distribution center in Riverside the company recently invested $13 million in a solar roof installation, which is one of California's largest at 500,000 square feet.