MERS Goodwill goes bagless for 2019

Published: Jan. 4, 2019 at 5:26 AM CST
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MERS Goodwill is starting off 2019 by helping mother earth a bit more. As of the first of the year, the organization stopped using plastic bags and instead will offer reusable ones for $1. Shoppers can also bring their own reusable or plastic bags to shop with if they don't want to purchase a new one. Lastly, Goodwill will also have a receptacle to collect old plastic bags for reuse.

Plastic bags take 1,000 years to decompose, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. every year. Through the new bagless initiative, MERS Goodwill plans to keep more than 3 million bags out of the landfill annually.

The Vice President of Retail for the Goodwill store located just off of West Bypass in Springfield, Kristy Lance, said the eco-friendly decision was an easy one. "We started doing some research and decided that bagless would probably be the way we wanted to go," said Lance. "It would save the agency a little bit of money that we could put towards our programs, but more importantly it will be great for the environment."

When asked how she would explain the importance of going green to a shopper, she explained it's all about planning for the future. "Has anybody looked up the Pacific Plastic Island?," she exclaimed. "We have to think about our children, and our children's children, and this is the right thing to do."

President and CEO of MERS Goodwill, David Kutchback, said he agreed with the move. “It feels good to know that we are doing our part in helping the environment," said Kutchback.

The move to go bagless applies to most Missouri stores and some in southern Illinois as well, something Lance said is a first for the Midwest.

Below are the addresses for the Goodwill stores in Springfield, in addition to the Goodwill Career Center.

Goodwill Retail Store: 3151 S. Kansas Expy., Springfield

Goodwill Retail Store: 425 S. Western Ave., Springfield

Goodwill Career Center: 319 N. Main Ave., Springfield