News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 12/10/2008
Subject :

Bag Great Deals on Reusable Bags at Palo Alto Businesses
Contact : Annette Puskarich, Zero Waste Coordinator, Public Works Refuse Division    650-496-5911
Palo Alto, CA – Bargain-seeking Palo Altans can "bag a great deal" on reusable shopping bags, now through January 31, 2009, with a coupon redeemable at six participating Palo Alto businesses.

Using a reusable shopping bag, whenever and wherever you shop, helps the community with its Zero Waste goal and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing our reliance on disposable paper and plastic shopping bags, we reduce the energy, waste, resource impact and litter caused by their production and disposal.

“Every effort made, no matter how small, helps. Weekly grocery, pharmacy and other retail shopping could easily add up to 500 disposable bags per shopper over the course of a year. There is a huge opportunity to reduce the use of disposable bags in favor of reusable ones, and the participating businesses partnering with the Zero Waste Program on this coupon really want to help get reusable bags into the hands of everyone shopping in Palo Alto,” said Annette Puskarich, City of Palo Alto Zero Waste Coordinator.

“At Country Sun, we discontinued plastic shopping bags back in February. We offer a large variety of reusable bags and credit shoppers $.05 when they bring their own bag. Using the 2 for 1 coupon makes reusable bags a great deal! We would love to see everyone start bringing their own bags!” said Scott Otte, Manager, Country Sun Natural Foods.

“Palo Alto Hardware supports the community effort to shift to reusable bags and encourages shoppers to use this coupon. Every time someone brings their own reusable bag to shop, or doesn't need a bag, we donate $.05 to the PAUSD Partners in Education (PIE) Program. We started the program right before the holidays last year, and to date have saved about twelve trees, which will translate into over $1,000 to PIE,” said Maureen Montez, Manager, Palo Alto Hardware.

“Whole Food Market cares about the community and environment. Promoting the use of reusable bags is just one step we make to reduce our environmental impact. We carry a variety of reusable shopping bags made from recycled materials. We also offer our customers a choice of a $.05 refund off their grocery bill or the opportunity to donate the $.05 to a local non-profit organization when using a reusable bag at checkout,” said Perrie Pagnotta, Marketing Team Leader, Whole Foods Market.

Participating businesses and deals include:
  • Country Sun Natural Foods, 440 S. California Avenue – Buy 1 bag, get 1 FREE
  • Curves (Palo Alto South), 4117 El Camino Real – FREE bag when you enroll in a FREE 1-month trial membership
  • Mollie Stone’s Market, 164 S. California Avenue – Buy 1 bag, get 1 FREE
  • Palo Alto Hardware, 875 Alma Street – FREE bag with $20 purchase
  • Walgreens, 2605 Middlefield Road – Buy 5 bags, get 1 FREE
  • Whole Foods Market, 774 Emerson Street – Buy 1 bag, get 1 FREE

To get a coupon, Palo Alto residents may:

Now comes the challenge – developing the new habit of bringing your reusable bags when you shop! Here are a few tips to help you remember:

  • Parents – Teach your children to remind you as one of their chores
  • Dog Owners – Attach bag to dog leash
  • Cyclists – Attach to your bike
  • Drivers – Put bags back in your car after emptying; keep bags in your car and at the office; leave bags in driver’s side pocket of your car; place bags under wallet or purse on the seat of your car
  • At Home – Clip bag to your shopping list; hang bag on front door knob; write “bag” as #1 item on your shopping list
  • At the Office – Keep reusable bag at your desk or leave it in the bag you bring to work
  • Shoppers on the Move – Keep it in your backpack

A survey conducted earlier this year of Palo Alto shoppers found that grocery and pharmacy shoppers used reusable shopping bags less than 10% and 2% of the time, respectively. 

Palo Alto shoppers chose disposable paper bags 82% of the time and plastic carry-out bags 73% of the time. The BYOBag! Campaign, underway since April, aims to increase reusable bag use to 30% by the end of 2008.
The BYOBag! Campaign is coordinated by the Public Works Zero Waste Program. For more information, visit or call 650-496-5910.