Lakewood, CO—Since 2009, Natural Grocers has implemented its Bring Your Own Bag program, including bag-free checkouts and eco-friendly tactics shared through the workplace. Natural Grocers announced that 500 single-use bags have been saved from polluting the environment since the program took off.

The company's commitment to the health and the wellbeing of humans, animals and the planet has left positive changes all around. Founded in 1955, Natural Grocers is the nation's largest family-operated natural and organic retailer, where the workplace utilizes intelligent environmental decisions and strategies in prevention of environmental harm. 

Reducing Plastic Use

During the typical checkout process, Natural Grocers does not offer paper or single-use plastic bags at the register. To encourage the movement, Natural Grocers donates 5 cents to local food bank partners each time a customer brings their own reusable bag. Local food banks appreciate donations, as they help support the health of surrounding communities. 

"Natural Grocers is proud to achieve this milestone, with the help of our conscientious customers," said Raquel Isely, Vice President of Marketing, Natural Grocers. “This practice has also enabled us to donate over $1.5 million to our local food banks, which perfectly aligns with one of our Five Founding Principles, a commitment to community."

Aside from its Bring Your Own Bag program, Natural Grocers utilizes additional protocols to reduce waste. In 2020, the chain switched to plant-based, backyard-compostable produce bags. As for paper bags, they are 100% recycled, recyclable, and compostable. The packaging facility and distribution center has reduced plastic wrap by 50% from the year prior. 

The company encourages packaging that is both recyclable and biodegradable, while minimum sufficient packaging practices are applied. 

Heroes in Aprons

In other company news, Natural Grocers announced that its Heroes in Aprons Fund has raised more than $300,000 since its inception in 2020. The company will donate $1.00 to The Heroes in Aprons Fund for every Heroes in Aprons Fund-themed reusable bag purchased at its 164 stores nationwide, through the remainder of the fiscal year (through September 30, 2023).

"Though the Natural Grocers Heroes in Aprons Fund was created in 2020, a Commitment to Crew is one of Natural Grocers' Five Founding Principles," said  Isely. "Heroes in Aprons reinforces Natural Grocers' ongoing commitment to creating an environment of mutual respect, dignity, and opportunity for all employees since 1955."