KEASBY, N.J. — Select ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware will offer what they are calling the first reusable shopping bag that is compostable and biodegradable.
Supplied by Burbank, Calif.-based Earthwise Bag, the new bag is made from a combination of corn and tapioca fibers, using by-products from the food manufacturing process. The bags are printed with water-based inks, sewn with cotton thread, contain no petroleum and carry the ASTM 6400 certification, a standard for biodegradability and compostability awarded by the U.S. Composting Council.
The machine-washable bags will serve customers for at least 100 uses and can be composted at a commercial composting facility, where they will biodegrade within 90 days. They have been tested to hold 50-plus pounds.
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ShopRite stores promote the use and purchase of reusable shopping bags and offer a rebate to consumers using non-disposable bags. In 2011, more than 58 million bags were reused by ShopRite customers, and in the last five years ShopRite customers have kept almost 200 million bags out of landfills.
“ShopRite has a long history of innovation and we continue to look for new ways to 'green' our business practices,” said Karen Meleta, a spokeswoman for Wakefern, the wholesale cooperative owned by ShopRite store operators, in a statement. “We are proud to be the first retailer in the United States to offer these alternative new bags to our customers.”
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