Business Stops Using Plastic Bags, Hopes Other Stores Follow - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Business Stops Using Plastic Bags, Hopes Other Stores Follow

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The Pacific Swirl is a huge mass of plastic remnants swarmed together in the Pacific Ocean. How can one small business in Reno help turn the tide on the Pacific Swirl? By cutting plastic cold turkey.

"When I looked back at the number of plastic bags we used at Junkee over the last five years I was horrified," says Jessica Schneider. "And I see plastic bags all over the place floating in the wind and realized they end up in the ocean. They add to that mess and I just decided I don't want to be a part of it. So we've gone bagless."

Will it make a dent in the problem? Probably not. But it could start a trend in the Biggest Little City in the world.

"People have accepted it," Schneider says. "When people check out we tell them we don't have any bags. They can purchase a recycled bag for what we paid for it, which is 99-cents. Or they can take it without a bag. And we urge them to bring their own bag next time. They do this Europe and in a lot of big cities. It's not that strange. We didn't know if Reno was ready for it but we took a leap and I'm hoping other local stores will too."

The big chain stores are able to buy recycled bags because they buy in bulk. The more you order, the cheaper they are. But for a small business it was something Schneider had to save up for.

"It cost me 99-cents at bag to order 5,000. Then I have to pay the postage. I sell them for 99-cents. Most small businesses don't want to bother with a pass through where you don't make profit. And it took me a year to save this up. But I think it's the right thing to do for the planet.

Sam Sprague who owns Micano Home & Garden on South Virginia is inspired.

"I think it's time Reno did go bagless and I'm thinking my store will be the next small business to do it," he says. "It makes sense and it is the way the rest of the world operates."

And Schneider is happy to share her research on finding affordable bags with anyone who'll joint the campaign.

Of course, the more you order the cheaper they are. She's already saving up so the second order won't hurt her pocket book quite as much.

Written by Erin Breen

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