Natural Grocers pushes plastic-free movement in Colorado Springs

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Here’s a riddle for you: what lives hundreds of years and is useful for about 25 minutes?

The answer: plastic bags.

A typical plastic grocery bag is used for a very short time, but takes 500 years or more to decompose in a landfill.

Though International Plastic Bag-Free Day was last week, at Natural Grocers, it’s Plastic Bag-Free Day all year long.

“Plastic bags are a nuisance actually, you seem them blowing in the wind all the time – they are ugly you know,” said Royce Hicks, who lives in Colorado Springs.

While you’re thinking about which tomato will be the juiciest or which vegetable you can get your kids to eat, Natural Grocers wants you to also think about the environment.

“We’re drowning in a sea of plastic, there is nowhere for the plastic to go,” said Brenda Stone, Manager at Natural Grocers.

So at Stone’s store, plastic bags aren’t an option.

“People can buy a reusable bag, we have several types that people can purchase, they start at 99 cents. We also upcycle our cardboard boxes – our distributors ship our products to us and customers can leave with the product in those as well,” said Stone.

Some locals support the plastic-free idea, saying they want to do better.

“We have reusable bags that I keep by our front door so that when I go out to get groceries – but I wasn’t at home actually so I should keep some in my car so I don’t have to worry about that,” said Colorado Springs resident, Samantha Newgard. “A ban wouldn’t be a bad place to start either, it encourages both civilian and businesses to kind of look at other options.”

“I carry some in the back of the truck, I have many bags for that, seems like I forget them or something, run in the store without them,” said Hicks. “If you were charged a couple of pennies I don’t think it would make me remember my bags.”

Some customers wish stores had more options.

“The liquor store has it figured out with the cardboard box,” said Alex Tooke.

As far as a statewide plastic bag ban or a fee per bag, locals aren’t sure.

Only a few states, such as California, New York, and Hawaii have an actual plastic bag ban, but some cities, like Boulder, have taken it upon themselves to make the change.

We asked FOX21 Facebook fans if they would be in favor of a plastic bag ban and the results of the poll are in: 55 percent say “yes”, they are in favor and 45 percent say “no”.

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