Say no to plastic bag icon in flat style.

Merchants in Historic Biltmore Village announced last week that 30 businesses there have officially transitioned to a “no plastic bags” operation, making them the first merchant group in the city to embrace a sweeping voluntary plastic bag ban.

The seeds of this sustainable transition were planted in fall 2018, when Asheville GreenWorks sent a call to locals to join a Plastic Reduction Task Force. Nearly a dozen volunteers stepped forward and developed an action plan to help merchants operating in Biltmore Village move toward a Voluntary Plastic Bag Ban.

During the ensuing weeks and months, volunteers went door-to-door in Biltmore Village, promoting the initiative. With an enthusiastic response from the majority of merchants in Biltmore Village, the task force moved forward in its next steps: developing the initiative’s logo, providing education to participants and prospective businesses, and raising awareness through social media.

The following Biltmore Village businesses have officially transitioned to a “no plastic bags” operation:

Catawba Brewing, Lululemon (uses reusable bags), London District Studio, Soma, Brooks Brothers, The Gardener’s Cottage, Monkee’s of Biltmore, Oodles & Maggie, Palm Village—A Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, Margaret & Maxwell, JoS. A Bank, Chico’s, Porter & Prince, Scout Boutique, Soft Surroundings, Turner & Co., Williams-Sonoma, Estate Jewelry Limited, Corner Kitchen, Red Stag Grill, Grand Bohemian Hotel, J. Jill, Nest Boutique + DIY Studio, Casablanca Cigar Bar, White House|Black Market, MTN Merch, Village Wayside Bar & Grille, Southern Tide, Village Antiques, and Rezaz.

Continuing their commitment to environmental stewardship, merchants in Historic Biltmore Village will join together on Tuesday, Aug. 20 for a business member-only, community-wide Street Clean-Up, spanning from Biltmore Avenue to Reed Street. The Street Clean-Up kicks off at 3 p.m. and continues through late afternoon, where it will conclude with group refreshments at Corner Kitchen.

GreenWorks’ Plastic Reduction Task Force is now putting out a call to see what other Asheville merchant groups will next volunteer to reduce their plastic bag use.

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