"Cleanup in Aisle 6": , the community-owned grocery store, is donating $5,000 to nonprofit through the latter's Corporate Healer Beach Cleanup program, it was announced Tuesday morning.
"As a co-op, our mission and vision centers on creating a positive environmental impact," Co-opportunity General Manager Bruce Palma said. "And with the City of Santa Monica's recent , and April being the month of Earth Day [on Apr. 22], we felt the timing was right for this sponsorship."
Heal the Bay President expressed his thanks to the store, which will launch its new reusable-bag sweepstakes at the nonprofit's monthly "Nothin' But Sand" beach cleanup event on Saturday.
"We're very grateful to Co-opportunity for their support of our efforts to fight plastic pollution," he said. "We're excited that Co-opportunity will be helping to clean up one of our local beaches. As a Corporate Healer, they will be making our beaches even more beautiful and learning firsthand about the impacts of urban runoff and trash on our coasts and in Santa Monica Bay. Their reusable-bag program will make a big difference for the ocean. "
The co-op's effort is part of its larger initiative to support Santa Monica's newly implemented . The store is providing a new incentive to its roughly 45,000 "Owners," those who have bought a share in the business. Owners who use their reusable bags—which they receive upon becoming Owners—will be entered into a monthly sweepstakes, with each winner getting a $25 gift card. However, Owners will no longer get five cents back for each of their reusable bags.
(In order to become an Owner, a customer pays a $5 non-refundable registration fee and buys a refundable $25 share. The Owner then pays $25 per year until they reach $200, at which point they're fully vested in the company.)
On May 1, the store—which specializes in organic foods—will implement its new bag initiative, and by no later than Sept. 1, will do away with plastic bags altogether. Reusable bags made by will also be on sale at the co-op.
Additionally, the City of Santa Monica's has picked the co-op as the first retail store to get hands-on training on how employees can relay information about the plastic-bag ban to its customers.
"This change isn't about squeezing more profit out of operations," Palma said. "The revamped reusable bag program is about the shared sacrifice we all need to make in order to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans and landfills, while also making our local economy more sustainable."