California Grocers Association Joins City of Santa Barbara in Launching Reusable Carryout Bag Education Campaign


Contact: Dave Heylen, V.P. Communications California Grocers Association
Tel: 916.448.3545
Fax: 916.448.2793
E-mail: [email protected]

California Grocers Association
1415 L Street, Suite 450
Sacramento, CA 95814

Industry, City Hope To Increase Awareness, Use of Reusable Carryout Bags

SANTA BARBARA, CA (August 28, 2009) – The California Grocers Association is joining forces with the City of Santa Barbara and local environmental groups to educate consumers to the advantages of using reusable carryout bags.

The city’s Environmental Services Division rolled out the program, entitled “Where’s Your Bag” on Friday, August 28, 2009, at a kick-off event in Santa Barbara.

The program aims to increase consumer use of reusable shopping bags through a coordinated effort to educate grocery store staff, customers and the general public that includes staff training, advertising, signage, special events and media releases. The city will distribute to retailers signage to remind shoppers to bring their reusable bags when shopping. Signage includes parking lot signs, window decals for customers’ cars, in-store placards and buttons for grocery employees.

“CGA and its membership are excited to partner with the city on this important educational program,” said CGA President Ronald Fong. “Our industry has strongly supported consumer education as a key to changing customer behavior away from traditional carryout bags and towards reusable bags. We encourage all of our members to participate.”

CGA believes the program will significantly increase consumer awareness and use of reusable shopping bags. “Reusable shopping bags are a readily available, viable and cost effective alternative to traditional shopping bags and we encourage consumers to adopt their use,” said CGA President Ronald Fong. “We commend the City of Santa Barbara for taking the lead in reusable bag awareness and education and hope this event sets the stage for partnerships with other municipalities throughout the state. We appreciate the efforts of our member companies to be part of the overall solution to reduce bag use in the state.”

“Encouraging reusable bag use is an important part of the grocery industry’s efforts to promote reduce, reuse and recycle shopping bags,” Fong said. “Government, industry and consumers must work collaboratively to resolve the issues of litter and waste. By combining our efforts we can effectively educate consumer’s to change their daily habits and significantly increase the use of reusable bags.”

Reusable bag use has increased since the implementation of AB 2449, the statewide plastic bag recycling law, in 2007. Along with requiring grocers to provide in-store plastic bag recycling, the law also calls for grocery retailers to provide reusable shopping bags for sale.

The California Grocers Association is a non-profit, statewide trade association representing the food industry since 1898. CGA represents approximately 500 retail members operating over 6,000 food stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 200 grocery supplier companies.