The Co-op is making a big change to some of our donation programs in 2017. We’ll be retiring our Bag Token program and introducing a new Round Up at the Register process.
What’s the story with Bag Tokens, anyway?
When we introduced the Bag Token program many years ago, single-use paper and plastic bags were a major source of waste, litter, and pollution in our community. Conscientious shoppers, efficiency enthusiasts, and environmental activists all recognized the superiority of well-made, reusable bags. To encourage shoppers to be more conscientious, we offered a five cent discount off a purchase (which was, back then, the cost of a paper bag) or five cents to donate to a local charity.
Why are you retiring the Bag Tokens?
The Bag Token system worked great for years, but eventually the grocery bag situation changed (for the better!). The Co-op introduced Chico to Roplast’s 100% recycled, 100% recyclable, locally manufactured reusable grocery bags. In 2015, the Chico City Council passed an ordinance restricting the use of single-use plastic bags and California as a whole soon followed suit. We are now required, by law, to charge people at least ten cents for any grocery bag we offer at the register.
As a result of these changes, reuse of bags went way, way up. Meanwhile, the incentives we offered to folks for bringing in their own bags have been made redundant by the statewide bag ordinance. Therefore, the Bag Token program has become a quaint legacy, unmoored from its original purpose and not serving our shoppers—or our community partners—as well as we’d like.
What is Round Up at the Register?
Round Up at the Register is a simple program which will empower our shoppers to round their purchase to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to our partnered organization. For example, if a transaction totals $4.51, you will have the option of rounding your purchase up to $5.00 and donating $0.49 to the partner organization. Every transaction is an opportunity to support a valuable local philanthropy!
Does this mean the Co-op is donating less to charities?
Absolutely not! The Co-op’s donation budget is remaining unchanged—the Round Up program is extra. The money that we used to donate through the Bag Token program will still be going to local charities. However, it will be given more strategically to support specific programs and projects in the community, maximizing the benefit to the organizations. Combining Round Up at the Register with our existing donation programs will result in even more giving from the Co-op community!
What organization will the Co-op be featuring in the Round Up program for February?
The Torres Community Shelter!
If you have any questions, please contact Joey, Our Ownership and Outreach Coordinator, at 530-891-1713 ext.110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.