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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Sheryl Crow + Whole Foods Market + NRDC = A Better Bag

We have a really cool new bag coming out! You’ve probably seen our large grocery tote bags made from recycled plastic bottles for only 99 cents. Our customers have given us great feedback on them. When it came time to design a new bag, we wanted to make it even better. We came up with several ideas and these two rose to the top: 1. generate public interest in reusable bags by getting an environmentally conscious celebrity to help design the bag and 2. highlight a strong environmental program on the bag that is helping to change our world. Done and done. Sheryl Crow collaborated with us on the design of the bag. Didn’t it turn out great?

The Natural Resources Defense Council promotes a great program called Simple Steps. In addition to our monetary donation to the NRDC, each bag has the SimpleSteps.org website printed on it, which encourages customers to embrace simple steps in their everyday lives that reduce consumption and consider the environment. Since it is gift-giving season, the bags are available in the large grocery tote size and also in a smaller, gift bag size for only 79 cents. Check ‘em out and let us know what you think. When we sell through this run of bags, we’ll be designing the next version. What ideas do you have for taking these to the next level?

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114 comments

Comments

says …

@Shelley Best thing to do if you want a bag, but live far away from a store is to call your nearest store and see if they will ship you some.

Susan says …

Great new bag, can't wait to buy one. You should have new bags bi-annually from other 'green' celebrities. Great promotion idea for both you and the need for everyone to use reusable bags. In regards to someone previously saying you needed a bag for frozen items, you already have them available (at least in California) and they are great! The insulated bags (blue side saying 'Cool Down' and the red side saying 'Warm Up') work wonderfully for all frozen and refrigerated items or for hot items, if you've bought dinner at the prepared-food stations. The bags themselves are much more usable than the ones they sell at Trader Joes because I've tried them both and yours are designed and sized the best.

mandara says …

Are these bags made in China though? I have trouble supporting that, even though the bags reduce waste. Please try to make bags locally and from recycled materials- Thanks!

Steve SIlver says …

Sheryl's bag is not recyclable. Why not think this whole thing through and market a bag made from recycled materials that can be recycled over & over?

Madison says …

We think that you should not use plastic bags as an option for bagging groceries. We know that you give out bags that are recycled and you often give out paper bags but plastic bags are just awful for the environment and wildlife. If you would please go to the the site below we would appreciate it very much. The site will tell you about the affects of plastic bags. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/environmental-pollution-the-harmful-effects-of-plastic-bags.html Sincerely, Emma and Madison

Suzi says …

Ditto on the request for reusable bags for fruits/veggies/bulk. Someday? I too second the notion that longer handles would help the commuters, AND, of course made in the USA would absolutely make a better statement. I know that the consumers would pay more for something with handle options and made locally. Cheers!!

Jacqueline Jakle says …

It's fun to keep updating not only the bag designs, but also the features of the bags. I am concerned about recycling plastic due to the unsafe chemical content. I have 2 of the original hot/cold quilted bags (red and blue) and 6 of the original green bags, which I keep in my car inside a larger canvas bag, along with several organic cotton net bags I use for produce and fruit when I shop. I also keep a medium size tote bag in the car that holds a stainless steel thermos for water, coffee and a snack for days when I'm running errands. One of my observations when I am shopping at WF is that the people who put the groceries in my "green" bags stuff them so full that I cannot even lift them! Please instruct the "baggers" how to load the green bags. Thanks!

Stephanie says …

I looked at the pictures after the reply that the large bag has straps long enough to get on your shoulder and I agree a smaller person could do so. Unfortunately I don't fit in that category and once winter hits, it would never fit over my winter coat. Could there be two versions, one with the current straps and one with longer (at least double the current length)? That'd be awesome!

Kim says …

Love these reusable bags! I can't stop buying them, and I take them everywhere with me. I also love the fact that you redesign the bags; this keeps the program fresh and unique. I would also like to see a bag for frozen food. Since I do not have access to Whole Foods in NJ (I don't have a car) and I work in Manhattan, I transport my food home via bus. Usually the trip takes 25 minutes, however, if the bus gets stuck in traffic (which it has, on many occasions), and I'm bringing home cold or frozen food, I'd like to know that I have a bag that would keep the contents reasonably cold. I would also like to comment on the Whole Foods canvas fold-up cart that I bought last year. In theory, the cart is a great product, however, the rough NYC concrete shredded a portion of the cart. I used electrical tape to fix it, but it only peeled off. If you are considering bringing these carts back (and really, I think you should), then I would like to suggest to make the bottom part better reinforced by using recycled tires or some other material. Thanks for all of the recycling offers that Whole Foods provides; keep up the good work!

Sassie312 says …

I was struggling buying gift bags for my destination wedding until I saw these. They send a great message and are reusable for our guests!

Arayna says …

Love that you have added a smaller version, sometimes you only need to pick up one or two small items. I agree, you should come up with an insulated bag such as the ones from Dryers for frozen items. Thanks

Diane Eblin says …

Love the little tote. Used it as a gift bag this week for a friend. She was delighted she got 2 gifts.

says …

@darrin Check with your nearest Whole Foods and see if they would be willing to ship some bags. You can find contact information for our stores here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/all/index.php

says …

@Carmela The Better Bags are made in China. This is indicated on the bag’s inner tag. A third party audit has ensured the manufacturer meets our expectation regarding the fair treatment of workers, product safety standards, and environmental stewardship.

says …

@tdeguzman Check with Customer Service at your local Whole Foods. I do not believe bags have sold out at any of our stores as of today.

Shelly says …

Too bad the same concept can't be applied and have the bags made here in the United States. That would just add one more plus to the bags being available. (Is there anyway to purchase these bags online, without having to drive a great distance to the nearest Whole Foods?)

Angela says …

How about one with wildlife on it?

Jo Ann Collins says …

I have a great idea to promote "going green" with those who really need to know........our children. Promote school gardens with a Whole Foods Market bag designed by a child. In the Fort Worth area several schools have been funded by a grass roots organization called Real School Gardens. Check out the website www.realschoolgardens.org for more info. They fund low income schools with money to build a outdoor learning environment. We need to prepare our children to take care of our earth and eat the harvest it can provide!

Nancy says …

Love the new bag because it is easier to fill than my cotton bags are, but really wish they were made in the USA.

Carmela Candelas says …

Who is the manufacturer of these bags? And are made in the USA? Thanks. CC

Mary Jo says …

I have your bright color bags with the fruit on them and love them! I don't leave on a shopping trip without them. I have to say I like the fact that you can get a smaller bag now because sometimes when the big bags are full they can get pretty heavy. But I do not like the color of the new bags I think if you are going to carry a bag it sould be bright and fun!

terry p says …

i like the new bags, very cute. as for suggestions for new bags, i would like to suggest a slogan of "go local" and have each region have a contest with its local area school to design artwork to represent the locally grown produce or products. it's a great way to get the community excited.

Karin deV. says …

One lady showed me a 'Green' bag with compartments for bottles (4 ~ velcro-held flap-compartments: 2 on opposite sides). I looked inside her bag and the compartments looked very practical! She had purchased a package-of-6 at Costco for less than $4.95. "But this style has been discontinued. All they carry now is a large bag, without those round velcro held-flaps for bottles. I guess most customers prefer a simple large bag..." Well, I only shop for myself, and a small version of the bag that lady had is just perfect for me, and those compartments are a big PLUS! KdV

joni kirby says …

Great idea for the bags..let’s get more celebrities involved, maybe Barack will design one!!!

Lori says …

Even with bringing my own shopping bags and avoiding plastic packaging as much as possible, I feel like I still leave the store with more plastic than I'd like. How about some small washable WF bags for fruits and veggies, that could be used for bulk foods too?

Candy says …

I ditto Peggy's comment about the double handles. I have a reusable bag from REI that has 2 sets of handles that I use all the time. Here's a picture of it: http://www.rei.com/product/777585

Anthony A says …

While it's nice that you're recycling things, and reducing disposable bag use, it's still plastic. I really prefer the organic cotton bags that used to be available at Wild Oats.

amy beaver says …

how can i buy the bag without going to a whole food store. Rockford, IL does not have one and i only occasionaly get up to the store in Mad City, Madison, WI.

Mark says …

Please stop making these bags from recycled bottles. We need to use bags made from natural fibers like COTTON. Who knows what these plastic fibers are doing to us as the slowly break down as we use them. Thank you.

tdeguzman says …

if i had known about the bags a week ago, i might have seen them. i just came back from WF an hour ago and didn't spot them, otherwise i would gotten one because i like the design. are they sold out already?

darrin says …

there is no whole food market in my area (deeply depressesd). is there any way to purchase these bags online, so i can enjoy them too.

says …

@amy You can contact the Whole Foods nearest you and ask if they would be willing to ship some to you. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/all/index.php#wi

Eliza says …

I agree- longer shoulder straps would be great!!! Thank you for your consideration. Can't wait to pick up several bags, next time I'm in the store.

AMBER KLINE says …

SHOULDER STRAPS WOULD BE SUPER ON THE BIGGER SIZE BAGS. TRY CARRYING THOSE BAGS FULL OF GROCERIES UP 3 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS. I WOULD RATHER PUT THE BAG OFF OF MY SHOULDER THAN HOLDING IN MY HAND. BUT KEEP ON KEEPIN IT GREEN!

Karen says …

I got my bags several months ago and just love them. I would not use them without the long shoulder straps. Absoutly would LOVE to have freezer bags too!!!

Linda P. says …

I haven't seen the bags in person yet, but from the website picture they look very pretty as well as cool. A great design! A darker colored bag would keep its fresh, like-new appearance for a longer time. The shorter handles are a godsend, particularly for short people or for people with shoulder and/or disc ailments. I, personally, would not purchase a bag with longer handles.

Susan says …

I second the request for foldable /collapsible bags that can be tucked inside a handbag or tote. Thanks

Judy says …

A bag with shoulder straps would be much better - especially for those who travel by public transportation or walk...

Fran says …

Have you thought about making the bags so that they fold up small, possibly collapse? I've seen other bags that have snaps so that they stay tightly closed. The fold up nice so that you can tuck them in your purse or another bag.

Martha says …

I LOVE the bags with shorter handles - I can't carry things on my shoulders and I've been hoping for something like this! I'm also thrilled that you've come out with a smaller version - I often run to the store for just a few things and have opted to use a smaller paper bag since the reusable is just too big. Thanks for all of this! My idea would be to make some without "cute" designs - I'd use the bag for more of everything if it were plain but in a great color. That would also tie in with your gift giving idea, since a solid color or simple repetitive design would go with more things.

Zanny says …

I think there are plenty of plastic bottles on the face of the earth to make these bags, even if we quit using plastic bottles today. I agree about longer and thicker straps... Also would be nice to roll up and velcro it into a nice shape for easy carry into stores. I find I bring these bags in my trunk but they can be akward to carry in more than a couple at one time, if they rolled up newspaper like, then had a tie or strap like a sleeping bag.. Thanks

Zanny says …

PS: A plain pattern bag with a set of markers - the kids could draw on them ..would be a great way to encourage the kids and show off their art work.. keep them busy while shopping.....just an idea

Tina G says …

Definitely would like to see WF use something other than plastic bottles only for the sake of what we are learning now about the chemicals used to make those plastic bags...really scary when you think of them sitting in your vehicle during the heat of the day. I do want to say also that being able to recycle them would be nice as well. I have one of the older WF bags (blue with red straps) that one of the seams is coming undone so it's life expectancy is not much longer...what to do with it afterward? I have tons of reusable bags and love them all, but definitely would love to see something that embodies all that your company represents.

says …

@Laurie The bag was made available nationwide on Wednesday October 15th.

Laurie says …

When is this bag in stores?? I definitely want one!! :)

says …

@Cynthia The bag was made available nationwide yesterday.

says …

@swankyfair The reusable bag for frozen items is a great idea and I'll pass along your suggestion to your buyers. Thanks!

Cynthia says …

Love your bags, when will Crow's bag be available to the folks in the D.C. area?

Alex says …

Just wanted to say a huge thanks to Whole Foods and Sheryl for putting together this amazing bag! I manage NRDC's Simple Steps campaign and we're thrilled to see more and more people ditching the old choice between paper and plastic--and going for a reusable bag. All these simple steps really add up. For more simple steps that you can take to help the planet, whether you have a minute, a morning or a month, visit our site at www.simplesteps.org.

swankyfair says …

I like all reuseable bags but you need to come up with a pretty reusaeable bag for frozen items. I see a lot of Trader Joe's bags that are fantastic fashion statements and functionable too. Whenever I see someone with thewm I always ask them hgow long ago they bought them so that I can have them too. You are the giants of all natural and reuseable so you definitely need more variety.

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