Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ithaca Farmers Market will give away hundreds of reusable shopping bags

Announcement from the Ithaca Farmers Market:

"Bring Your Own Bag" at the Ithaca Farmers Market.Famed local market continues its commitment to sustainability by holding a reusable shopping bag give-away

ITHACA – Starting this Memorial Day weekend, the nationally-acclaimed Ithaca Farmers Market will promote its plan to reduce plastic bag use by shoppers and vendors with a reusable shopping bag give-away.

Along with the fresh rhubarb, greens and asparagus for sale, one hundred market bags will be given away for free at Saturday's and Sunday's market this weekend, to supplement what has already become a growing trend for shoppers to bring their own grocery bags with them.
Reusable bag giveaways will also take place on the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Columbus Day holiday weekends.

This season the market also started offering customers any of 50 hand held shopping carts to use while they shop, and customers have taken to using them regularly.
Last season, market vendors stopped selling their products in single use plastic bags, switching to either reused shopping bags or compostable BioBags.

Although local customers have become accustomed to bringing their shopping bags to market with them, tourists that frequent Steamboat Landing haven't gotten the message quite as well, which Robin Ostfeld, a farmer and chair of the market's sustainability committee, hopes to change with the bag giveaway.

"Local shoppers have heard the buzz and seen the signs, and have responded by bringing their own bags and baskets in increasing numbers," said Ostfeld, who championed the plastic reduction program. "But tourists haven't had the chance to see what's going on. In order to reach visitors, we have chosen the four holiday weekends with the greatest tourist traffic to offer the give-aways."

The market plans to continue the bag give-aways each year.

"We hope word will spread across the region, the country, even around the world," Ostfeld said. "We can make a difference by changing simple habits."

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