Encouraging Bag Reuse at Shop Rite Supermarkets in New York City

In 1990, ShopRite began a customer bag reuse program called Save-A-Bag in their New York City stores to reduce the amount of landfill waste. The program involved providing educational materials to customers and offering a refund incentive of $0.02 per bag to reuse them. Each bag was printed with information about the bag reuse program and signs about the program were posted in the stores to remind customers to reuse their grocery bags. As another incentive, stores with the highest bag reuse rate were rewarded with reduced prices at the end of the year.

Since 1990, the bag reuse rate has increased from five million bags per year to about 8.4 million bags per year in 1998. Approximately 182 ShopRite stores now participate in the program. Customers have reused over 50 million bags and have received two cents back for each bag. Since the bag program began, the stores have saved 1.5 million U.S. and customers have saved 1.2 million dollars.
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