Eastern Market is giving out 800 reusable bags for customers to test – Detroit Free Press


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In an effort to reduce plastic waste in the form of single use bags, the Eastern Market Partnership (EMP) is launching a reusable bag program. 

Starting with the upcoming Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday markets, they’ll launch a pilot program handing out reusable bags. The bags, according to Eastern Market, will be in a variety of styles, materials and functions.  

Approximately 800 bags, all canvas material and some with special features like inside pockets, will be distributed. Those customers who receive the bags will use them over a four-week period and provide feedback through a survey to EMP. 

“The objective of this initiative is to continue diverting market waste from landfills, particularly by reducing market use of nearly 2 million plastic bags per year,” EMP President Dan Carmody said in a statement. “Over the past three years we have diverted 25 percent of our waste stream by recycling cardboard. Given the global hesitance to take and process additional plastic waste, it is our urgent responsibility to work with the market community towards the eventual elimination of single-use disposable bags.”

Eastern Market said that the initiative started with input and support from market vendors. The goal, according to the news release, is to reduce single-use bag waste by 50 percent by 2021. 

Once the trial program is complete, EMP will survey the results and findings and produce the preferred reusable bag. The roll out of the bags and price will also be determined. 

Eastern Market also initiated new signage based on the effort to reduce plastic waste. The signs posted throughout the market will encourage market goers to bring their own reusable bags. 

Grocery chains have also taken up the cause for eliminating plastic waste. The Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative by Kroger is an ongoing effort to reduce plastic waste. By 2025, the Cincinnati-based national  grocery chain plains to phase out plastic bags at all stores. 

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Contact food writer Susan Selasky at 313-222-6872 or sselasky@freepress.com. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter. 

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