Celebrating Mother Earth with no more plastic bags at Rosewood Market

Published: Apr. 22, 2019 at 6:03 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Rosewood Market is saying “no more” to plastic bags in their store.

To celebrate Earth Day, Monday, Rosewood Market announced it will no longer use plastic bags to pack your carry out deli food or to house your groceries. Owner Bryan Tayara said it’s part of a larger effort to lead the way for other markets and restaurants in Columbia.

"I saw one of my bags on the side of the street somewhere,” Tayara said. “And I was like 'I am contributing to this problem.' Rosewood Market started in the 1970s. We've always tried to be the change that we want to see and here's my bag in the street. I was like 'this is it, we gotta be done with it."

Rosewood Market opened in the fall of 1973 as the “Basil Pot” Restaurant, Columbia’s first vegetarian joint. The market has been in its current location since 1989, with the same mission of connecting people to local, sustainably sourced natural foods. That’s why Tayara said he knew his customers would be supportive of his move to eliminate plastic bags starting on Earth Day.

“Just be the change you wish to see in your community,” he said. “If you don’t want retailers to use plastic bags, don’t use them yourself. And celebrate that. Make sure everyone knows you are the change.”

Instead of plastic, they’re now selling cotton totes or you can bring your own. For every bag sold, 50 cents will be donated to the Midlands area Sierra Club chapter, which is an environmental sustainability organization.

They’re doing this against the backdrop of some recent movement on plastic in South Carolina. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and other city leaders have begun to ask about the effect of plastic, while the South Carolina Retail Association supports the effort to stop local governments from creating plastic bag bans.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2019 so far – lawmakers have introduced 95 bills relating to plastic bags. Most of those would ban or place a fee on them. In South Carolina, according to the American Progressive Bag Alliance, in Arcadia Lakes, a town-wide ban on plastics is set to take effect on March 1st, 2020. In Camden, a city-wide ban on plastic bags less than 2.25 mils – a certain “thickness” - is set for January 1st, 2020.

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