In April, we brought in compostable produce bags after receiving many requests to switch away from single-use plastic bags. Since the roll out, we’ve heard from shoppers and members who are dissatisfied with the compostable bags for a number of reasons including:
they are clingy and difficult to open they are not as sturdy as plastic bags and can’t hold as much produce they do not keep produce fresh they are only compostable in industrial composting sites.
We appreciate everyone’s feedback and have some answers and suggestions that we hope will make your produce purchasing and storage better.
First, we do not recommend storing produce in the compostable bags. They can keep your produce fresh and clean during transportation from the store to your home, but it is best to store produce in other ways for optimal freshness (check out our Pastic-Free Produce Storage Guide online or in the store). Second, we are working with our local compost hauler, Zero Waste Wranglers, to accept compostable bags. Soon, you will be able to return your used compostable produce bags to the Café seating area compost bin so they can make their way to a commercial compost center. Finally, we try to offer a range of options for produce bags: we carry compostable bags, paper bags on the dry tables, and if you are looking for an even greener option, we now carry reusable organic cotton tote bags in our Produce Department. We are selling the reusable bags at cost to make them affordable and accessible options for re-use. Each of these have their pros and cons, so you may also consider whether you need a bag at all—much of our produce is sold loose and it is totally acceptable to keep it that way! Thanks for supporting the East End Food Co-op and the many local, sustainable farms that bring you fresh produce every day!
— Tyler Kulp, Produce Manager
Download our Plastic-Free Produce Guide here!