Reusable bags

Supermarkets here have started charging 5 cents for each grocery bag they give you, encouraging you to use reusable bags. I think this is a great idea for the environment, but I always forget to shlepp my reusable bags with me. What is it like where you live? Are the supermarkets environmentally conscious or not? Some supermarkets actually give you a rebate of 5 cents per reusable bag that you bring. At least it’s something, right? (Do you have any idea how many of the reusable bags I have to use to shop for this family? at a dollar each, the initial investment is high, but it saves me money in the long run, right?)

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  1. lil_lupie01 says:

    In my area the supermarket doesn’t charge to use their bags but they give you a rebate, at Shop Rite it’s 5 cents per canvas or other material and 2 cents for reusing the plastic and paper you get from the store. I’m not sure about any other stores.

    I think it’s great that they are encouraging this simple change to help the environment. I know that there are some areas in the US that are actually try to ban plastic shopping bags. I can’t remember where I found it but there is a site out there that gives instructions on how to make reusable bags out of your plastic ones you get from the store. In Hawaii a lot of the stores have gone back to using paper only. I personally prefer to use either paper or reusable, I have about 30 of them that I got while living in Hawaii, and I have been known to go back home to pick my bags up if i forgot them.

  2. Assuming you shlepp to the grocery in the car, why don’t you just keep the bags in the car? Of course, that means remembering to return them there IMMEDIATELY after you’ve unloaded them, but then they are always ready.

    Alternatively, if you do forget, pay the $.05. Then fill one of those bags with all the bags and keep that in the car, just in case you do forget the reusables.

    Since we are car-less, I know keep extra plastic bags in the bottom of my backpack. When I end up making an unexpected store-run, I just pop those out to use. Nothing like using a bag from a competitor ;-)

  3. Tuvia says:

    I keep the reusable bags in my car. Then I realize they are still in my trunk when I get to the register

  4. Lady Lock and Load says:

    My sister lives in California and is very into the environment. She does not use disposable paperware and cups and she is very religious about recycling everything. She would be very pleased if the U.S. had this policy like they do in canada (or in your part of canada). I would find it a pain in the neck (or pocket book) to be charged for every plastic bag. I do loads of shopping for groceries and if I forgot to bring my reusable bags (or old ones) the money would add up!

  5. i would love to use reusable bags, but we already reuse all the plastic bags for throwing out kitty/dog poop. :) Supermarkets here don’t care, except for trader joes.

  6. frumgoth says:

    @Whole foods markets here they alway ask b4 packing up items – “do you need a bag?” since so many ppl. in nyc are now into recycling and carry reusable ones around. But if you don’t have one with you they give you a paper one.

    I bought a big Le sportsac tote bag awhile ago, and everything fits into, so that is my answer to the plastic bag problem!

  7. Chanief says:

    I try to be as environmentally responsible as I can be and I like to use the reusable bags but more times than not I forget them in my car or by the stairs, waiting to go back to my car. If the store I am in is not busy I will run back out to the car and get the bags, if it’s busy I don’t. As lil_lupie01 said, they give you $.05 at Shoprite, and I believe it’s the same at Whole Foods. I would love it if they’d start charging for the plastic bags, it would encourage more people, myself included, to use (or remember!) reusable bags.

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