MERS Goodwill, which has locations in Sunset Hills, Fenton and South County and Brentwood, is eliminating single-use plastic bags for shoppers.

The move to a more environmental-friendly policy by MERS is being welcomed by local sustainable living groups. The move also mirrors environmental policies initiated in several area cities, although the state legislature has voided such municipal ordinances as being beyond the scope of city governments.

Plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to decompose and are harmful to wildlife. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 380 billion plastic bags are used just in America every year.

“Goodwill is known as the original recycler, so this decision to go bag-less and to re-use items in the store continues to support our dedication to environmentally sound practices and our overall mission,” said President and CEO of MERS Goodwill, David Kutchback.