The Plastic Bag War Is Moving Toward the Produce Aisle

You don't use plastic bags at the grocery checkout. So why do you still use them in the produce department?

At grocery stores across the country, the campaign to end the use of plastic bags has staked a claim on the checkout line. But in the produce department, plastic still reigns supreme. A selection of apples, a bunchy of kale dewy from the produce misters, or a pound of pinto beans from the wholesale bin—these items get dumped into single-use plastic produce bags.

In places where the canvas grocery bag already controls the territory, that's leading to a new front in the anti-plastic bag campaign: one targeting those plastic produce bags. Many of the bags’ critics are fighting on their own, but institutions are starting to catch on. Some farmers’ markets have switched to biodegradable single-use bags, a step above the traditional plastic ones. At Brooklyn's Park Slope Food Co-op, the environmental committee recently urged shoppers to forgo the bags altogether.

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