US green food retailer hits sustainability milestones

US green food retailer hits sustainability milestones

April 3, 2019
Press Release: Natural Grocers

How ditching single-use bags can be good for the environment and good for the community

US organic and natural food retailer Natural Grocers has revealed that it has eliminated more than 300 million single-use plastic bags in the past 10 years (to the end of March) and will reach US$1 million in total donations to food banks associated with all 152 Natural Grocers stores.

Since Earth Day 2009, Natural Grocers has led the fight to reduce single-use plastic bags and end food insecurity in the communities it serves, by eliminating single-use plastic bags from checkout lanes and by donating five cents to local food banks every time a customer shops with a reusable bag.

“We are drowning in a sea of plastic, which is causing harm to people and the planet,” lamented Heather Isely, Natural Grocers executive vice president. “Additionally, there are people in our communities that are food insecure. Ten years ago, we saw an opportunity to make a difference and address both plastic waste and hunger simultaneously. So, we decided to eliminate single-use plastic bags at checkout and provide a five cent donation to our local food banks every time a customer remembered to bring in their reusable bags.”

“The impact of eliminating single-use bags from our stores is enormous,” added Natural Grocers co-president Kemper Isely. “As a business, the ripple effect of our choices can redefine the future.”

And this month, the retailer is doubling its donation to local food banks, donating 10 cents instead of five. Nearly 70 food banks in 19 states benefit from the donations accumulated when customer bring in their reusable shopping bags. Food Bank of the Rockies is the largest beneficiary and is affiliated with 25 stores in Denver.

In addition, during the month of April, Natural Grocers will also donate US$1 for each purchase of its new ‘Ladybug Love’ reusable shopping bag, which retails at US$2.99. “We hope our customers make a renewed effort to shop with reusable shopping bags during the month of April, and every day, because their local community food bank and the environment benefits every time they do,” continued Isely.

Natural Grocers already provides free recycled boxes or reusable shopping bags for purchase, starting at 99 cents, to customers so they can carry their groceries and other natural goods home.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

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