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Waste Not, Want Not

There was a time when we were allowed to recycle feed bags in the Mill.  Folks would bring back their used bags and we would refill them.  Four years ago the State of Michigan decided that due to possible farm to farm contamination, this practice should not continue.

Old habits die hard and a lot of customers still bring the used bags back to the mill.  What we are left with is a lot of perfectly good, unused bags that unfortunately just end up in the recycling bin.  The recycling industry is reporting record high numbers of recycled items (which is a good thing) but not all of it ends up being recycled (which is a bad thing). Recycling is a big industry and money gets made as recycled materials are sold to be used in the manufacture of new items. 

China was a huge buyer of our recyclables until they announced in 2018 that they would no longer import “foreign garbage” as part of 

a broad antipollution campaign.  Without buyers and with increased standards for what is allowed to be recycled, the recycling industry has to toss more and more into our growing landfills.

We are looking for solutions to our dilemma of the returned bags. If you know of anyone that could make use of the used feed bags, please let us know. We have a lot of creative customers that may come up with an idea of how to utilize them.

Another step we are taking is to do away with plastic bags in the store.  We will be transitioning to paper bags only and will be asking more frequently “would you like a bag?”  Not because we are being stingy with the bags, but more to start to challenge the notion that every time you purchase something you need a bag.  It seems to have become habit or routine and not necessarily a necessity.  As one of our long time customers likes to respond when we ask if he would like a bag, “what do I need a bag for? These (dog treats) are already in a bag.”