Natural Grocers ditches disposable grocery bags

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No more feeling guilty, averting eye contact and mumbling excuses when you go to Natural Grocers. Unlike at Whole Foods, where forgetting your reusable totes is akin to a sin, if you forget to bring your own bags to the Natural Grocers, the worst that'll happen is you juggle your almond butter and Amy's products au naturale.

The Colorado-based grocery chain says in the year since quitting plastic and paper bags it has kept 13 million bags from circulation. It wasn't quite a cold turkey withdrawal, but close: The company first withdrew plastic bags on Earth Day 2008, moving on to remove paper bags on Earth Day 2009.

"There is money saved on both ends, and, best of all, we are showing that it can be done -- customers and retailers together protecting our environment in a very simple way," says company co-president Kemper Isely.

What's up your sleeve for for Earth Day 2010, Natural Grocers? How about tossing them plastic produce and bulk item bags?

Natural Grocers has more than 30 stores around Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Texas.

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