REUSABLE BAGS Gloria Flaman, past president of the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary, shows a sample of the reusable cloth bags the store will offer beginning in March. The bright red bags will feature the auxiliary’s initials, a line calling for volunteers and the auxiliary’s website. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Summerland thrift store to offer reusable cloth bags

Bags at Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store will be available at a nominal cost in March

After years of reusing old plastic shopping bags, the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store is making the switch to reusable cloth bags.

Gloria Flaman, past president of the auxiliary, said 500 bags have been ordered. They will include the letters SHCA and the store’s website on the front side.

“We’re one of the biggest businesses in Summerland,” she said. “We should do this before we’re forced to.”

The bags will be sold for $2 each at the store. The price almost covers the cost of the bags, she added.

The store will begin using the new bags in March, when the stock on the shelves is changed to spring and summer items.

Flaman said the store has been working to reduce the amount of waste it generates.

In addition to reusing old shopping bags and switching to reusable cloth bags, Flaman said the store has also recycled donated items that cannot be sold on its shelves.

The auxiliary as a trailer parked near the arena, where discarded items are taken. Three to four times a year, the items in the trailer are taken to a recycling depot in Vancouver.

“We’re trying to reuse and recycle as much as possible,” she said.

The thrift store, on Victoria Road North, raises money for health care needs in the area. It was formed in 1909 and has donated funding for hospitals in Summerland over the years and more recently for the expansion project at the Penticton Regional Hospital.

It is open each Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. During its busiest days, the shop sees more than 300 customers in a three-hour period.

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