, Newburyport, MA

December 23, 2013

Program encourages switch from plastic bags

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

For over a year, Citizens for Sustainable Bagging has been working with Newburyport citizens, students and businesses on moving our city toward a ban on single-use plastic bags. We believe this is a doable project that gives Newburyport an opportunity to further its reputation as a green and sustainable community. It is a small way to move an entire community forward on addressing one of the many imperative changes that must be made if we hope to leave behind a livable planet for our children and grandchildren.

We have done a great deal of work educating the community, seeking its opinion and bringing this issue to the forefront of public discussion. It is now time to offer and encourage alternative practices. To this end, we have begun working with a truly innovative company, MY ECO, that has developed a business model that links citizens, nonprofit organizations and retailers through a win/win/win incentive program to switch to sustainable “bring your own bag” practices while earning money for local nonprofits and saving money for retailers.

Shaw’s Supermarket in Newburyport has already signed on to the program and area nonprofits involved include the Nock Middle School, NHS, RVCS, ROOF and Lowell’s Boat Shop. Shaw’s is giving back 40 cents per $100 spent. If just 100 families participate and shop weekly at Shaw’s, local nonprofits would earn an average of $3,500 a year. We believe this is a powerful way to add meaning and benefit to the arduous task of changing habits and we invite other area retailers to get involved.

To find out more about MY ECO, go to There retailers, nonprofits and individuals can sign on to participate. Through MY ECO we can also track the number of plastic bags our community has saved from entering the environment. It is our sincere hope that all of Newburyport will work together through this program on “counting change.”

Janine Brunell Looker

Citizens for Sustainable Bagging