BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A new report finds that more supermarket shoppers in Massachusetts are taking home their groceries in reusable shopping bags.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey.

State environmental officials and a group representing food stores said Thursday that there has been a 33 percent reduction in the use of disposable paper or plastic shopping bags since the state launched an initiative to encourage reusable bags in 2007.

The goal was to reduce the number of shopping bags that are thrown away or wind up in landfills.

“This is part of our big program, not just in this area, but in energy reduction, we have almost 200 stores certified in reducing their organic waste. That’s all their extra produce trimmings, meat trimmings,” said Chris Flynn, president of the Massachusetts Food Association.

A dozen supermarket chains comprising nearly 400 stores around Massachusetts have been voluntarily tracking the number of paper and plastic bags they use.

A number of the stores have made reusable shopping bags available for sale and some have offered cash incentives to customers to employ the more environmentally-friendly bags.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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