Consumer education better than anti-bag law

James J. McCaffrey, McCaffrey’s Food Markets
This August, McCaffrey’s Food Markets will celebrate our 23rd year as a member of the Princeton community! Throughout these years, we’ve focused on providing excellent service, superb community relations and top-quality products to the Princeton area. We’ve also worked very hard to be good corporate citizens, through charitable efforts and solid environmental practices which are outlined below:
McCaffrey’s Markets has cut our landfill waste stream by more than 50 percent by: Initiating a food composting program.
 Recycling cardboard shipping cartons.
 Recycling plastic film.
 Starting a single-stream recycling program.
 Donating thousands of pounds of food per year to those in need.
McCaffrey’s has reduced our energy consumption by:
 Replacing older, inefficient refrigeration equipment with state-of-the-art models that use 20 percent less energy.
 Swapping older, fluorescent bulbs with high efficiency LEDs.
McCaffrey’s has reduced the impact of single use bags by:
 Offering a rebate on every reusable bag used at our store.
 Selling reusable bags at check-out to encourage green behavior.
 Recycling 75 percent more plastic bags than we purchase during the year, by encouraging consumers to bring bags from other sources in addition to those obtained at McCaffrey’s.
All of the efforts outlined above are simply the result of our desire to do the right thing for the community and our Earth, rather than the result of a government mandate.
Recently, there has been an effort in Princeton to impose a 10-cent per bag fee on our customers for every single-use bag that leaves our store. While we understand the intent of the proposed ordinance, we cannot support it, as we believe that consumer education and choice are a far more equitable solution to the issues caused by single-use bags.
We believe continued collaboration between McCaffrey’s and those concerned about our environment can be of tremendous benefit. What’s more, the proposed ordinance would place McCaffrey’s at a significant competitive disadvantage. None of our competitors operate within Princeton which means that none of them would be subject to the mandatory bag fee.
We strongly encourage Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Council to consider all of the above mentioned practices and successes, as well as McCaffrey’s desire to work together with environmental groups that want to better educate consumers about “best” eco-friendly practices, before deciding the fate of this proposed ordinance. 
James J. McCaffrey 
President 
McCaffrey’s Food Markets 