Don’t Be Surprised If Thriftway Hands You A Hippo

SANATOGA PA – At the Sanatoga Thriftway supermarket, the question “Paper or plastic?” rarely arises when it comes to carting groceries away, and double-bagging heavy goods has become a thing of the past too. Instead, the DeLorenzo Family – which opened the store at 2190 E. High St., Pottstown PA, in 1997 – and its employees are simply handing their shoppers a Hippo.

Signs about Thriftway's use of Hippo Saks are now up at its cash registers

As in Hippo Sak, not hippopotamus.

The store’s supply of long-familiar, logo-emblazoned white plastic bags is almost depleted now. For the past few weeks, customers’ comestibles have been going home in recyclable, and made from at least 30 percent recycled materials, Hippo Sak-brand bags manufactured by Crown Poly Corp. in Huntingdon CA.

Hippo Saks are unique, Crown Poly claims, because they are bound on the bottom by a specially secured seal (it’s pink in color) that is tested to be 10 times stronger and more leakproof than ordinary plastic shopping bags. They are environmentally friendly, it adds, because customers need fewer bags to haul their purchases, and so less plastic ends up in the local waste stream.

The DeLorenzos like the product so much they have put up signs throughout the store announcing their switch to Hippo Saks, and also will pay a two-cents-per-bag rebate to customers who bring their Hippos back to be reused when making another purchase.

The family ownership wins by using Hippo Saks too, Crown Poly contends. A single 12-1/2-inch by 7-1/2-inch by 24-inch) Hippo can hold up to 15 pounds, or the same amount of groceries as up to four non-reinforced bags. That saves retailers money. So does the fact that Thriftway employees don’t spend extra time bagging items twice at the checkouts.