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Bags for Change

                                              Sitka Bag Box 4.jpg (153 KB)

“What goes around, comes around.” The Reusable Bag Library encourages customers to be more environmentally conscious.

Alaskans are taking progressive actions to protect the environment by reusing grocery bags – and in Sitka, shoppers are helping each other do so.

Bags for Change is a group of volunteers who advocate for less disposable plastic bag use in the community. Group member Michelle Putz recognized the inconvenience of using reusable bags and offered an alternative approach in Sitka. A new Reusable Bag Library now sits at the entrance of the store, allowing customers to continually borrow a reusable bag to bring home their purchases, and drop the bag off on the following trip for someone else to use.   

“Our goal for the Reusable Bag Library includes making bags available to those who want and intend to use reusable bags, but forget them at home sometimes. We also know that some families simply have no reusable bags. We encourage them to hang onto and keep reusing the reusable bags they choose,” said Putz.   “The ‘library’ is also a great place for people with excess, clean, serviceable reusable bags to donate those bags to others who need them in Sitka.”

The Alaska Commercial Company (ACC) Lakeside Sitka was happy to support and promote Putz’s initiative by contributing a blueprint and working materials. Combined with Michelle’s team’s creativity, the bag box was launched in January.

Branch Manager Vince Winter said he hoped that this change would cut down unwanted trash and give Sitka a smaller carbon footprint.

ACC Lakeside Sitka is happy to be a leader in making ACC stores more environmentally friendly, and believes that this project will inspire other locations to replicate the program and go green in their communities.