H-E-B Celebrates Earth Day By Giving Away 150,000 Reusable Shopping Bags Statewide In A Single Day

Style News Wire | 4/23/2008, 9:33 p.m.
H-E-B celebrated Earth Day statewide in a big way by giving its customers new ways to go green. On Tuesday, ...

Recycle Five, Get One FreeAnyone that brought five plastic shopping bags or more to any H-E-B store for recycling received a coupon for a free reusable shopping bag. As part of giving away 150,000 of the reusable “green bags” across the state, H-E-B collected over 750,000 plastic bags for recycling in one day.

The shopping bags brought in for recycling could be from any retailer and did not need to be H-E-B bags. No purchase was necessary, but there was a limit of one free reusable bag per customer, and the free bags were only available while supplies last.

“We wanted to make a bold statement that would encourage people to switch to reusable bags,” said Cyndy Garza Roberts, Director of Public Affairs for H-E-B in Houston. “By giving away 150,000 reusable bags for free, we invited people to give the bags a try and really begin to change habits across Texas.”

H-E-B’s reusable bags are made of non-woven polypropylene, which is tough, strong, water resistant and recyclable. The bags, which typically can last for two years of weekly use, are made of the same type of plastic used in yogurt containers, syrup bottles, straws and medicine bottles. The average family of four is likely to use eight to ten of these bags for a weekly grocery trip.

Green Bag Sales Contribute to Keep Texas Beautiful Grants

Shoppers can purchase the reusable green bags at any H-E-B store for $0.99 each plus tax. Five cents from each green bag sale will be contributed to a grant program H-E-B is establishing through Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB). H-E-B’s Green Bag Grants will be open to eligible KTB affiliates looking to fund local recycling programs across Texas.

“H-E-B is calling attention to an important way people can make difference for the environment,” said Cathie Gail, Keep Texas Beautiful Executive Director. “Earth Day is the perfect occasion for educating people about how they can change their day-to-day habits when it comes to shopping bag reuse and recycling. H-E-B’s new Green Bag Grants will go a long way to ensuring that recycling practices continue across the state, throughout the year.”

H-E-B Offers Options for Recycling Plastic

An important part of H-E-B’s Earth Day effort is to make it easy for customers to recycle plastic bags and other thin plastics, such as newspaper delivery sleeves and dry-cleaning bags, that often cannot be recycled curbside.

The bins are easily identifiable in front of the stores and can accept most #2 (high-density polyethylene) and #4 (low-density polyethylene) plastic products. The bins have clear signage that describes exactly what plastics they can process, including:

• Newspaper delivery sleeves

• Dry-cleaning bags

• Plastic shopping bags

• Six-pack soda-can rings

• Outer wrap from products such as paper towels and bathroom tissue

Plastics dropped into the bins are recycled into plastic lumber, which has a range of uses including playground equipment, decks and fencing. In fact, the recycling bins themselves are made, in large part, from recycled plastic bags previously collected at H-E-B stores.