Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day 2008: Arizona-Based Basha's Grocery Chain Launches the 'Ultimate Green Bag' Reusable Shopping Bag Giveaway and Year-Long Promotion

Arizona-based Basha's supermarkets and one of its suppliers, Shamrock Farms dairy, have teamed-up to offer Basha's customers what the grocery chain says is "a new kind of reusable shopping bag" for Earth Day 2008.

"We're calling it the 'Ultimate Green Bag' because it's good for the environment and good for your wallet," Johnny Basha, the vice chairman of the family-owned, multi-format chain told Fresh & Easy Buzz.

The Basha's-Shamrock Farms dairy reusable bag promotion kicks-off tomorrow on Earth Day in all of the grocer's Arizona supermarkets and will run for the rest of this year.

Store customers can get a free (one per-person), reusable 'Ultimate Green Bag' by bringing in and exchanging five or more single-use plastic carrier bags for the reusable bag. Bashas' will recycle all of the plastic grocery bags brought in to the stores by shoppers.

Customers also can get a free 'Ultimate Green Bag' by purchasing one gallon of Shamrock Farms' milk at any Bashas' supermarket.

Additionally, the reusable shopping bags are currently on sale and will be for the foreseeable future for 99 cents each in all Bashas' stores, according to Johnny Basha.

The grocery chain also is using the 'Ultimate Green Bag' as part of a value-oriented promotion for shoppers. The chain will have numerous in-store and advertised weekly promotions which will allow customers to earn more free reusable bags when they purchase certain products, similar to the current promotion which gives shoppers one free bag when they buy a gallon of the Shamrock Farms milk. A variety of Bashas' suppliers and vendors are participating in the promotional program.

Johnny Basha says the retailer's goal is to get as many of its customers as possible multiple, free 'Ultimate Green Bags' so they can bring the reuseable bags with them when coming to shop the stores, thereby reducing both the number of single-use plastic carrier bags the chain uses, as well as decreasing the overall amount of plastic grocery bags that enter the waste stream in Arizona.

The reusable bag giveaway and ongoing promotion is one of the grocery chain's numerous environmental initiatives.

Those initiatives include energy, water and fuel conservation programs, packaging source-reduction and recycling programs and other "green" measures for all of its 160 stores.

Johnny Basha says the retailer currently is recycling about 25,000 tons of cardboard and plastic materials each year, is at present conserving enough energy annually to power 7,500 homes in Arizona, and is launching a fuel-efficiency program for its distribution center truck fleet, with the initial goal of eliminating 1,775 tons of carbon emissions annually. Bashas' said it arrived at this initial goal because it represents the equivalent of removing about 1/3 of its current trucking fleet from the road.

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