Photo: Eastern Market Partnership

Eastern Market Giving Out Reusable Bags This Weekend

The market is rolling out a pilot program to reduce plastic waste.

August 13, 2019 - 7:27 pm
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DETROIT (WWJ) -- Eastern Market is trying to get more environmentally friendly, rolling out a new pilot program to help reduce plastic waste.

The Eastern Market Partnership says they are handing out sample reusable bags to market customers who agree to be part of a survey and provide feedback beginning this weekend. The EMP says bags -- in a variety of styles, materials and functions -- will be distrubted at several locations throughout the market on Saturday and Sunday, as well as Tues., Aug. 20.

"The objective of this initiative is to continue diverting market waste from landfills, particularly by reducing market use of nearly 2 million plastic bags per year," EMP president Dan Carmody said in a statement. "Over the past three years we have diverted 25 percent of our waste stream by recycling cardboard. Given the global hesitance to take and process additional plastic waste, it is our urgent responsibility to work with the market community towards the eventual elimination of single-use disposable bags."

Photo: Eastern Market Partnership
EMP will run the pilot program for four weeks to allow the customers ample opportunity to use and assess the bags. When the program concludes, EMP will collect data from the surveys and produce the preferred reusable bag in large quantaties and make them available for customers for a "nominal price" at the market. The program is supported by a grant from the Erb Foundation.

EMP says its goal is to reduce current waste by 50 percent by 2021.

"EMP has been developing and refining steps it can take to reduce waste streams and improve the environmental sustainability in the market including recycling cardboard, evaluating composting options and by reviewing best practices of a variety of markets in the U.S. and globally that have virtually eliminated waste streams," the partnership said in a statement.

In addition to the test program, there will be signage throughout the market encouraging all customers to participate by bringing their own reusable bags and offer their suggestions to EMP through its social media channels.

More information can be found on the Eastern Market website.