Introducing a Pre-Checkout Bag Fee at East Bay Natural Grocers, Inc. Businesses

Introducing a Pre-Checkout Bag Fee at East Bay Natural Grocers, Inc. Businesses.

Lose Waste. Support Each Other. Protect What Matters. Get Back On Track.

East Bay Natural Grocers Pre-Checkout Bag Fee Announcement

We’ve finally reached 2020, and with it comes a critical new decade.


It’s a time to get serious about your personal goals. And in a world more connected than ever, it’s also time to look at our collective goals, too.  


Our Earth is so full of life, but it’s feeling the strain of modern industry. Among all the inherent beauty, there is also pollution, habitat loss, and many people struggling just to get by. There are many challenges, but with them come even more opportunities to step up and help fix them. 


Together we know we can stop the destruction, support each other and get back on track towards repairing the damage we’ve done, while protecting the natural wonders we have left. 


And we actually have a chance to do it if we start now.  We need to take bold steps, however we can; ones that shift our behaviors and transform our collective lifestyle into one that we can sustain. 


This year, our focus is plastic.


When it comes to cutting down on plastic leaving our store today, there’s no better place to start than the produce department. Why? Because while plastic bags for carrying groceries home have been banned from grocery stores across the state, plastic produce bags have largely gone unaddressed. Over 150,000 plastic produce and bulk bags leave our store every year, and we’re just one small business in one corner of the world. We just cannot in good conscience continue doing that. 


That’s why beginning this March 2020, we will begin adding a $0.10 cent fee for every disposable produce or bulk bag you use new from us. 


We know it’s a big move, but we’re choosing to add a charge because they’ve been shown to work. California’s plastic bag ban has kept millions of bags out of our local environment, and we know it can work for us here in Alameda, too.  


It’s going to be a big shift from what we’re used to, but we know it will help reduce the amount of bags being used, while getting us closer to our sustainability goals in the process.


As retailers of prepackaged goods, one of our greatest sustainability challenges is not what we sell, but the plastic packaging our products come in. We know plastic will long outlive us during the 1,000 years it needs to fully break down, especially when it disintegrates into tiny pieces that can be really tough to remove out of the environment. 


That’s difficult news. Now it’s time to take more responsibility for the plastic leaving our store. 


Convenience, custom, and culture have highlighted plastic bags as core to successfully completing our shopping trips, but there are actually a lot of alternatives out there, like using cloth bags or boxes. And while offering disposable bags may seem ordinary, it sets the standard that these bags are harmless, while in fact they’re arguably just as threatening to the environment as the plastic carry out bags banned years ago. 


There’s still a few months to get ready, and we’ve been bringing in more reusable produce bags to help. It’s great that there’s finally so many options for reusables bags and containers, and it’s getting so much more convenient to reduce waste. 


We’re doing our best to help our customers get ready for this transition, but know some questions and concerns will arise. We have a Bag Ordinance FAQ to answer some of the primary questions. 


If you’d like to speak with management directly, you can email

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