A Long Island non-profit group has released a report grading local supermarkets like Uncle Giuseppes, Stop & Shop and Waldbaums on their reusable bag practices and policies.
In the report released Thursday, Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) gave Stop & Shop an A-plus grade, but gave Uncle Giuseppes an F.
Stop & Shop, with a location on Main Street in Smithtown, scored well based on its availability of reusable shopping bags, its signage in stores and parking lots reminding customers to use them, and its offering of a five cent credit per reusable bag customers use at checkout lines.
"Stop and Shop has long taken a proactive approach to working with federal, state and local officials to support efforts that will make a real difference in this area," said Faith Weiner, director of public affairs for Stop & Shop.
Uncle Giuseppes, which sells reusable bags and has signs in the store encouraging customers to use them but does not offer a credit when customers reuse shopping bags, responded to the report in a statement released Friday.
"Uncle Giuseppe's sells reusable shopping bags in all four of our stores so that customers who want to avoid using plastic bags have an environmentally-friendly alternative," said Arielle Brechisci, Information Specialist for Giuseppe's. "Last month, Uncle Giuseppe's gave away 2,500 free reusable shopping bags at the Long Island Ducks stadium."
Uncle Giuseppe's was penalized for not responding promptly to CCE's inquiries, a factor that Brechisci thinks was not fair.
"At this time, we believe the methodology used to determine our score is questionable," she said. "When we reexamined our scores, we found incorrect math. We were also penalized in our scores for not getting back to them right away. We were in the middle of opening our Port Jefferson location and could not get back to them that soon."
Waldbaums and Pathmark received B-plus grades on the Citizens Campaign report, while Target and Wild by Nature received B grades.
The report assessed supermarkets on nine criteria, including availability and cost of reusable shopping bags, signage in stores, windows and parking lots, discounts for reusing bags, cashier training, and willingness to participate in the consumer study.
"Grocery stores have helped create the problem of disposable bags and now we need them to help solve this problem," said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "We hope all stores use this report as an opportunity to implement policies that encourage consumers to make the switch to reusable bags."