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Responsible Packing: Reduce, Reuse, Get a Rebate

2015_APRIL_EarthDaybanner

When shopping at MaMa Jean’s, customers have four options for getting their groceries home: paper, plastic, cardboard, or reusable bags and baskets.

Earth Day 2015 is approaching, and now is the perfect time to read over the pros and cons of each option, and make the best possible decision for you and your family.

Plastic Bags:

MaMa Jean’s offers NOVOLEX plastic bags made from post-consumer content.

Pros:

• Made from 65% recycled content.

• USA manufactured (reduces amount of fuel used in transportation,  CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions)

• Reusable, sturdy

Cons:

• Non-compostable

• Increase in fossil fuels and energy to create bags

Reuse as: Packing material, trash can liners, dog waste carries, litter box liners, paint tray liners … 

Paper Bags:

Paper products take substantial amounts of energy to make. Crushing a tree down into small fibres, mixing the wood pulp into a slurry and then passing the wet mass through huge rollers cannot be done without use of enormous quantities of power. Regardless, their durability makes them very popular with customers. Thankfully, paper bags are very easy to recycle.

Pros:

• Printed with water based ink

• Made with a minimum 25% post-consumer recycled stock.

• Extremely durable and reusable

• Easily recyclable

• Compostable

Cons:

• Decrease in tree population

• Increase in fossil fuels and energy to create bags

• Paper bags are heavier thus requiring more transportation thus creating more fuel waste

Reuse as: Wrapping paper, packing material, book covers …

Cardboard Box:

Most of the products on MaMa Jean’s shelves arrive packed in cardboard boxes. While all of these boxes are recycled, we keep a supply of sturdy, conveniently sized boxes at all our registers. Heavier items and fragile purchases fit nicely, stay flat and are well protected in these boxes.

Pros:

• Light-weight, tear resistant qualities, comes in all shapes and sizes

• MaMa Jeans makes packaging boxes available for customers to reuse

• Reusable, recyclable (*unless contaminated)

• Compostable

Cons:

• Not always available

• Takes up space

Reuse ideas: Use as storage, make a playhouse, insulate plants and block weeds in your garden.

Re-usable Bags & Baskets:

The choice is clear – the most eco friendly option is reusable bags and baskets.

Pros:

• Receive a 10 cent bag rebate at MaMa Jeans

• Re-usable

• Conveniently compact

• Easy to store and clean

• African Market Baskets are Fair Trade, directly benefits weavers in South Africa.

• Made from eco friendly materials

Cons:

• You have to remember to bring them.

• Need to be washed with soap and water on a regular basis

• Initial cost of bag/basket

In a pinch, we all occasionally reach for a paper or plastic bag. No need to feel guilty if the need arises, but first ask yourself, can I use my hands? Will a box do the job? Which option can I better repurpose later? A little forethought can make a huge difference when it comes to the planet’s precious resources. Thank you for doing your part and Happy Earth Day!