Letters to the Editor




Whenever someone asks me about why I’m a member of the Coop, I rave about the selection in the produce and bulk aisles. However, I wish the Coop would be a leader in rejecting single-use plastic bags. I am a volunteer in a grassroots environmental organization called 350Brooklyn. The overarching issue of concern for our environment is society’s reliance on fossil fuels. Plastic is a product of the fossil fuel industry. Additionally, single-use plastic takes a lot of energy (more fossil fuels) to recycle and only about 17% of it actually gets recycled. This leads to plastic getting sent to landfills—which in turn emit greenhouse gases—and more plastic reaching our oceans. I am happy to see that the Coop now offers compostable bags in the produce aisle even though plastic bags are also available. I think it would be huge if the Coop were a leader in removing these plastic bags from the produce aisle. They are unnecessary now that we have compostable bags. Members can also bring their own reusable bags for produce. Additionally, many items in the bulk aisle are now packaged in plastic bags. I believe that previously these items were not packaged in plastic bags but were available to be scooped or in one of the containers with a release lever. I would like the opportunity to bring my own container to fill with bulk items. Ideally the Coop would stop using single-use plastic bags to package items, but I think at least we should have the option to bring our own containers.  

Zoë Kaplan-Lewis


Dear Coop,

Hi, my name is Peter Kim. I’m a member of the Coop. There’s an exhibition on Tartan at the V&A Dundee in Scotland, and for the “People’s Tartan” section, I submitted a plastic bag I bought from the Food Coop in 2018.  I thought this would be a nice piece of international press for the Coop to share on its social media and Linewaiters’ Gazette.

P.S.: Members can go see the exhibition in Scotland! Here’s two recent links. The Dezeen piece includes particular mention of the Coop bag:



Peter Kim


Dear Coop,

In the 10 years that I’ve been a member of the Park Slope Food Coop, I’ve only worked one or two shifts where I wasn’t in the baling room cutting up cardboard and crushing it into beautiful bales. Some people call me Taylor the Baler because I love the job so much. However, there is one type of box that I hate to crush. It’s not banana boxes, apple boxes, wooden crates or even the dreaded watermelon cartons; it’s any box that comes from Hepworth Farms, a 200-plus-year-old family farm located on the Hudson approximately 75 miles north of the city. Whether it’s mushrooms, tomatoes or peppers, the boxes from Hepworth are always ingeniously designed. Some have double- or even triple-reinforced handles and subtle interlocking stacking tabs. Some have “corner triangles” to further protect the produce they carry. And all of them stay together without any staples or glue. To unfold the marvel of a Hepworth Farms cardboard box is to reverse-engineer a three-dimensional epiphany. And to have to crush one is pure torture. So I wrote to Gail Hepworth, who along with her twin sister, Amy, represents the seventh generation to run the farm, and I asked who designs their boxes. She sent me to Rich Croce, who works for a packaging company in New Paltz called Viking Industries. Rich said that he had never before received fan mail for his boxes, but that seems surprising to me since Gail says Rich’s boxes are responsible for growing their business tenfold! That’s all. Come watch me crush boxes someday.  

Metaphorically yours,
Taylor Mali