Jefferson Farmers' Market Launches Plastic Bag Reduction Program
May 17, 2013
The Jefferson Farmers' Market will open their 2013 season on May 23 at 11 a.m. with the launch of the Plastic Bag Reduction (PBR) program. PBR, an initiative to reduce the number of plastic bags used, is the first of its kind in Philadelphia.
During a typical Jefferson Farmers’ Market, just one farmer goes through about 75 bags. Shelley Chamberlain, RD, assistant director of Dining Services in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Jefferson and Anna Quinn, MPH, Division of Population Science in the Department of Medical Oncology at Jefferson, have coordinated this effort to reduce this number.
CareOne at Moorestown, a Senior Care Company, has generously donated 800 reusable bags that will replace the traditional plastic bags used at the market. Patrons will be encouraged to bring them back each week.
Americans reportedly throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags annually. The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year and less than five percent of plastic grocery bags are recycled in the United States.
Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, posing a threat not only to the environment, but also to wildlife. The production of plastic bags requires petroleum and often natural gas and chemicals. This production is toxic to the air.
According to the 2012 Plastic Bag Report, nearly 70 counties or cities have some legislation around reducing plastic bag use – most on the west coast, and very few in the northeast. Jefferson is taking a proactive approach to reduce unnecessary waste in Philadelphia.
The Jefferson Farmers' Market, a partnership between Jefferson University Hospitals and Farm to City, is located on the corner of 10th & Chestnut Street, every Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Farm to City is a Philadelphia-based program whose goal is to unite communities, families, and farmers through healthful and flavorful locally-grown food. The farmers bring local fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef, eggs, jams and baked goods to the Jefferson Farmers’ Market.