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Guilt-free Paper Bags

By Paige Brady, April 21, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
Ever felt guilty about forgetting your reuseable grocery bags and having to use a paper one instead? Well I certainly have! That's why I'm excited to let you know that Whole Foods Market is the first national retailer to provide Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper bags at our checkout counters. This means we are reducing pressure on virgin forests and protecting biodiversity. Hopefully other retailers will follow our lead and the impact will be even greater! The FSC is an international nonprofit that promotes the responsible management of the world's forests and offers the most comprehensive standard for certification of forest products. FSC certified paper originates from post-consumer recycled fiber or from forests certified to the FSC's rigorous forest management standards. The FSC's independently verified chain-of-custody system requires paper producers to track their certified fiber throughout the production and distribution process. Because of its high standards and independence from the timber industry, the FSC is considered by environmental organizations around the world to be the gold standard for forest product certification. Duro Bag Post-consumer reclaimed material typically comes from corrugated boxes that might have held food or other products shipped to various retail outlets. This repurposing is important in a country that is the biggest market for paper products globally, producing 90 million tons of paper and consuming 100 million tons of paper each year, according to the FSC. Additionally this April, we partnered with Mohawk Fine Papers to create our Earth Month handouts using "third-generation" closed-loop recycled paper. We took our marketing material overages from the previous year, which were printed on paper made from 100% post-consumer waste, sent them to the de-inker, made them into pulp and then sent it back to the paper mill to be recycled anew into this year's Earth Month materials. All aspects of the third-generation closed loop process have occurred domestically, eliminating the need to ship pulp out of the country then back again, which is currently the norm. So, whether you need a paper bag at the checkout or pick up a 30 Ways in 30 Days Earth Month handout from our stores, you can feel good about doing your part to protect native forests.
Category: Green Action




Nancy Bradley says ...
I usually play golf 4-5 times a week, and there are three water stations throughout the golf course. I have decided NOT to use the styrofoam cups and lids at the stations, and use my insulated thermos cup for drinking instead. Doing this little change will make a huge difference as I have encouraged all my friends to do the same!
04/22/2009 7:27:15 AM CDT
Ali Kamas says ...
My green action is less waste! We recently started composting and it amazing how little trash we now have. We take the empty lettuce/spinach plastic clams/boxes to use to put all of our food waste until it ready to take to the compost. They keep sealed nicely so no food odors. Also, The wooden clemetime boxes make nice gift boxes instead of using a basket for gifts....it is really unique so the recipient loves the added touch and I am doing my part to recycle.
04/22/2009 7:29:50 AM CDT
Lisa says ...
I will be recycling plastic bags. It takes 1,000 years for our landfills to digest these. There are drop off sites at local places I frequent which makes it even easier!
04/22/2009 7:41:49 AM CDT
Heather Stubbs says ...
For several years now, I've been trying to recycle all my Braille magazines, but no one will collect them, and none of the paper companies will accept them. Braille paper does not have any ink on it, (unless someone transcribes the Braille in to print), and it's some of the most expensive paper out their unless you buy card stock at Sams Club which I do. I'm appealing to anyone who supports the National Federation of the Blind, the american Council of the Blind, Libraries for the Blind, and any other organizations out their to help me meet this challenge, because I feel like I'm the only one who wants to recycle my Braille paper. Also, this is the 200th aniverssery/birthday of Louis Braille, the creator of Braille, so wouldn't it be nice if we all get involved? And, for anyone who thinks Braille is out of date, remember it is necessary for all blind children to learn Braille as our most important means of communication, and that means reading, writing and arrithmatic, so let's all get back to the basics, because without these things, we blind people can't even hold down a good job! Thanks. Heather
04/22/2009 8:27:02 AM CDT
coco kim says ...
I never use a dryer to dry my clothes.I use the Florida sun.
04/22/2009 8:37:04 AM CDT
irene says ...
drying clothes is good...those who never lived in old soviet union have no clue how hard it was and yes, we use a dryer...but we don't use it more than 2 cycles/ always wash in cold water (that's what the dryer is for, so it makes no sense to wash in warm or hot water)...seriously. :-) Swapped bad allergy causing cleaners for seventh generation free and clear
04/22/2009 8:54:22 AM CDT
faith landau says ...
I was being green long before green was hip, and I continue to add greener choices to my everyday life, because I am a clean freak my one vice has been paper towel use, instead of eliminating them and causing more work/ and stress for myself ( stress is not green) I use each one several times, example: Wipe down kitchen counters, then wipe inside of sink, then use to pick up a spill on the floor or use to wipe hands then use to clean toilet seat or dry hands then clean up dog paw prints. The key is to not mix up the steps! LOL
04/22/2009 9:08:04 AM CDT
faith landau says ...
I was being green long before green was hip and I continue to make green choices everyday. My one vice has been paper towel use. Instead of eliminiatating them and causing more stress and work for myself.Being stressed is not Green. I use them several times before disposing. example; wipe down kitchen counters, then clean out sink, then spot clean floor- then discard. Or dry hands, then wipe out sink then wipe toilet seat- then discard. The trick is to not to mix up the steps, always go from cleanest to dirtiest! LOL
04/22/2009 9:13:13 AM CDT
June says ...
Our family of three have gone vegan. We've been vegan for almost 2 years and think it's the best thing you can do for the environment and for animal well-being. On top of that, we're a whole lot healthier. We don't have any of the saturated animal fats and extremely low cholesterol. With a plant-based diet, you really can't go wrong. There are all sorts of great vegan cookbooks so now there is no excuse not to eliminate meat and dairy from your diet!
04/22/2009 9:59:06 AM CDT
joseph ferro says ...
We have been using vinegar soda and water for the past 6 months to clean the bathroom and kitchens and especially good results on the tiles to remove the slimy dirt. Very good results and the odor is much nicer than toxic products once you're done cleaning. Angie and Joe
04/22/2009 4:20:37 PM CDT
Sylvia Swegle says ...
My husband and I have looked for hints on how to live green, and one of the best alternatives we found for cleaning is vinegar. We use it on everything. When we want to clean our drains, we pour 1 cup of baking soda in and than about 1 cup of vinegar and close the drain. No sluggish drains!!! Put 1/2 cup in your empty dishwasher. Your interior will be sparkling. Put 1/2 c of vinegar in a gallon of water and wash your floors with it. Gets all the grime up. Vinegar is amazing!
04/22/2009 5:33:16 PM CDT
Sherry Clark says ...
To Heather Stubbs. I am interested in recycling your Braille paper. Contact me at lucysclark@gmail.com.
03/25/2011 7:21:02 AM CDT
Patty says ...
Are your brown bags chemical free and safe to cook in? If not, do you know where I can get brown bags that are safe to cook in? Thank you
11/10/2011 9:04:14 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Patty The answer to this will differ from region to region. While the brown bags themselves are safe, each region paints their bags with varying amounts of our vegetable dye. This dye could affect your meal if in large, large quantities. We recommend obtaining a dye-less, paint-less bag, if possible. To contact your community Whole Foods Market about their bags follow the link below to identify their contact information. www.wholefoods.com/stores
11/11/2011 12:47:13 PM CST
kim itkonen says ...
Are the inks used on the bags plant based colors? Can I put them in my compost pile and not worry about heavy metal pigments or other undesirables? Thanks, Kim
10/04/2012 6:08:23 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@KIM - I was able to check with our Marketing department and all of our paper bags use plant based ink. Each region does their own printing for the bags in their stores but they all use the same printer that uses plant based ink. Hope this helps!
10/10/2012 1:51:29 PM CDT
Toni says ...
Hi, Is The ink on you Whole Foods 100% recycled bags veggie ink? I want to add it to my compost, but ink has toxins unless its veggie. Thank you, Toni
10/16/2012 4:11:16 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@TONI - I was able to check with our Marketing department and all of our paper bags use plant based ink.
10/17/2012 2:31:39 PM CDT
ken says ...
Good product!! How can I order some for my restaurant??Please email me!Thanks!
12/03/2012 8:01:10 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@KEN - You can check for products certified through the Forest Stewardship Council on their site at http://us.fsc.org/find-products.213.htm.
12/06/2012 1:19:47 PM CST
Corn Stalk Paper Guy says ...
Hi there, what would be even better is tree-free paper paper bag! I am working with a straw-based paper production company to promote the use of non-tree paper product in the US. We use corn stalk, hay and straw to produce all-natural, non-bleached pulp and paper. We share same values with Whole Foods and would like to explore collaboration opportunities. If you are interested, we would be happy to share more information. You can reach us at woods.tan at gmail.com
09/09/2013 10:08:57 AM CDT
Diane Nicholson says ...
I noticed our Whole Foods Market in New York City have reduced the size of their paper shopping bag in efforts to reduce paper waste. As a conscious consumer, I would like to know how many tons of paper bags are Whole Foods Markets consuming on annual basis. I hope your initiative will bring positive results and the smaller size will encourage easier reuse. I believe it is another step in the right direction.
05/21/2014 1:58:35 PM CDT
Palma says ...
I want to line my vegetable garden with Whole Foods bags to help control weeds .. Are there harmful chemicals in the paper that could leach out into the spil and into the plants?
05/16/2015 4:31:42 PM CDT