Has it hit your town yet? Do you have to pay for your grocery bags, and do you pony up for reusable bags when you forget the ones you bought last week at home?
What do you think of this phenomena and are you ok with it?
Has not happened here....yet. We had legislation last session, but it was voted down because of an outcry from constituents. Although, it was voted down by only a small margin.
I think it's a terrible fee that will affect families the most that are already struggling to put food on the table.
Whether or not someone chooses to use re-usable bags is their personal decision and should not be 'enforced' by enacting a ridiculous fee like this. You'll find that many legislative bodies are claiming it's to reduce waste, but if look closely it is is happening in states where money is needed from another place to help balance out the budget. (This is almost always the factor when ridiculous fees and taxes are imposed like this). Trust me, if the budget was ok - there would be no crazy tax/fees on grocery bags!
Personally, I use the grocery bags that I get at the store for trash bags and for dealing with pet droppings. So, using re-usable grocery bags would be very inconvenient for me, not to mention the fee is ridiculous!
My grocery store hands out those white plastic bags (or brown paper if you want) like they're going out of style (oh, I guess they are ). I bought myself enough permanent bags (like 6 of them, plus two refrigerator bags) with the idea of ending the white-plastic-bag thing. What I realize, though, is that if you put your cloth bags (mine have "floors" in them) on the floor you're stuck with dirty bag bottoms that you have to fold into the cleaner part of the bag. So I ended up always putting the cloth bags on the car seat and always worrying about not letting them be on a floor. It's too much of a pain in the neck not to be able to just put the bags on car and house floors, so I'm back with the white plastic ones. I turned the cloth grocery bags into "tote bags" for other things.
I did not even know this was happening. I use reusable bags anyway, I always forget but the lady of the house doesn't, and we always go grocery shopping together.
What!!??paying for grocery bags!!!! Do people think we are made of money?!!!!!!!!!!!
I was at a service station (gas station) the other week and the guy asked for a bag, for his bottles of drink after he paid for it, and he had to pull out another 10 cents.
Those drinks are overpriced anyway, and the plastic bag probably only costs a fraction of a cent, so I found it disgusting. Not only that I was looking at the 4 litres of drink and the thinness of the bag and I figured if he had a bit of a walk home (he wasn't there buying fuel) it was going to break.
On the other hand there's a grocery supermarket chain here called Aldi. They charge 15 cents per plastic bag. The only thing stopping you from carrying more in them is your own strength. They are so thick and resilient. You could use them as a murder weapon. Now that I don't mind paying for. If you didn't have to pay for those bags they'd probably have a problem with people taking too many of them.
girly_girl, I like the Whole Foods bags. They're nicer than the bags from the store I use as my basic grocery store. Now CVS has a nice little green bag with a butterfly on it. It would be a great tote bag for something like a little book, a bottle of water, and maybe an Mp3 player. I'm getting one.
I love how re-usable shopping bags are cheaper than regular tote bags. Although, I probably have spent so much on so many re-usable ones that I could've had one or two really nice, monogrammed, real tote bags, by now! hahaha I love all the new designs that come out. Will have to check out CVS.
Anything from 3p to 9p and it don't bother me at all, paid way more to keep a bag at home for years !
I would prefer if all thin disposable bags were banned (like has been done in China). Sadly most retailers (and governments) claim that charging for bags helps to save the environment, whereas a far greater effect could be done by just restricting the good which are bought. Force items to be more energy efficient and make them more expensive but so they last longer.
I agree, when governments and retailers claim charging for them helps the environment, it is a farce. Even if they do charge for them, they still are going to be out there. It's just a ploy to raise taxes/fees, earn extra money.
I also wouldn't want the government to force the regulation of what types of bags can be used as this could drive up consumer costs. Perhaps they could offer limited incentives to corporations that did use recycled bags, but mom and pop shops would suffer.
Here in the U.S., we are facing legislation in some states regarding grocery bag fees. I've heard 5,8 and 10 cents per bag.
If these laws were to be passed (I don't think any have, yet!), the corporations and businesses would not have a choice of whether or not to charge. They would be forced to.
It sounds like in other countries, the companies are electing to charge extra without being forced to?
In the UK many companies are considering charging for bags. Some already do and the cost can be up to 15p, and this includes some well known national retailers. Increasingly retialers are charging for bags (or alternatively giving rewards for reusing bags). This is because the government said they woudl consider legislating against the use of bags if the use wasn't reduced by a specific amount. This was to hit EU targets.
Also it may be different in the US, but in the UK the shops which charge most for bags are often the ones which offer the cheapest prices for the goods, so it all balances out.
Also it is worth noting that in the UK (again I can't speak for the rest of the world) even with improved diets and more tropical foods etc, spending on food as a percentage of hosuehold income is still reltively low. This is despite the recent surge in world commodity prices increasing the price of food. For example even including the surge in wheat prices over the last few years, since 1984 the wholesale price of wheat on average increases by about 2.5%, yet the wages for all deciles of society have increased by more than this amount (in the UK over the last ten years average wages have increased by between 3% and 5% every year.
Whilst I appreciate it is hard for some to be able to feed themselves and their families, particularly in the current economic climate, this is something the governments should look to sort out.
We do not outright pay for the plastic grocery bags, and since I am going to pay the same either way, I get them and reuse them as trash sacks. They are never just thrown away.
There is one store I like to shop at that will reimburse you if you use a tote, so I take my canvas bags when I shop there... but then I usually end up taking a trip by the recyclers for 'trash' bags.
I have some nice organic ethically sound fair tradey cotton/hemp right-on bags - you get the idea. They are lovely, and I feel all warm inside when I use them. Then I take my shopping home still feeling good, and unpack it, humming a little environmentally sound tune to myself, feeling like mummy of the year, saving the planet for the future generations. Then I hang them neatly on the back door, and then next time I go out I walk straight past them and forget to take them with me, so I end up buying the blooming plastic ones all over again.
Always pay for them here. I don't mind to be honest. They do the job. But I think the portuguese mind. Many bring reuseable ones with them or use a shopping bag on wheels thing. In fact - they make double use of them. They fill them with groceries, arrive at the checkout, unload, pay, refill and leave.
Maybe the portuguese are onto something?
I use canvas bags when I go grocery shopping.
I find them better than the plastic bags anyway; they hold their shape and they fit more, and I can throw them over my shoulder.
We have bags we take shopping. We feel it is a little thing to do to keep the plastic out of the dump. We find it quite painless.
Our stores around here are not charging for bags but they do encourage reuseable bags. I tend to forget to put them in my car. No legislation that I am aware of.
I consider the bag in my own store as part of the price of doing business.
Funny this topic came up when it did - I was just thinking about grocery bags, and remembering when "plastic or paper" first became a choice in my hometown. My dad worked for the local paper mill, so my family usually picked "paper". It was many years before I realized why - that even if the plastic was a little easier to carry, we needed to be supporting the local industry.
Thank you everyone for such wonderful insights and all your replies. I am surprised to hear however, that you are not facing the same bans we have here up in Canada. I have been toting around bottles of liquor with no bags for quite some time and its more than a little embarrassing.
I wrote a hub about it and I'm sure that you would all have a little something to comment about on it, so please stop by my page and read 'No Plastic Bag For You'.
I'm definitley feeling that this is a money scam that has been put into place by using our 'fear of being environmentally unfriendly', and I would really like to know if you feel the same.
Thanks again for all the responses, I'm going to use them in my next article.
I'm very much into the green way of life and it is my opinion that if we all do our bit it will eventually make a difference.
On the other hand when we were buying our groceries before, in the good old days when there was 'no charge' for the bags who do you think paid for them? The store? The grocery chain? Think again... the price was built into the price of the groceries or whatever else you're buying. As are the costs of trays that your meat is on, the wrap, the soaker pads, the price label and not even the ink that the price label is printed with is free of charge.
and so it makes you wonder why groceries are still so expensive but we are now asked to pay for the bags? Groceries are so ridiculously expensive nowadays, and with everything else going on, why am I being asked to pay for a grocery bag that takes away a garbage bag for me at home and makes me have to go to the store and buy garbage bags??? it doesn't add up. I'm telling you there is a conspiracy in there somewhere and we are missing it. Sorry, thats just how I feel.
I do believe that some of it is to help cut down on garbage in the landfills. But, of course a company is going to try and make money off it. All the stores all sell their own canvas bags. The liquor store has a nice little canvas one that can fit two bottles of wine
There is a discount place here in Ontario that has always charged for bags.
It's true though, since I have started using canvas bags I now have to buy garbage bags...so not much saving really
Yes, the bag fee is in Ontario now and it didnt affect me because I have been using re-usable bags for a while now. I think the fee should be more! Or even better they should ban them. That is the next step they are looking at here. Ikea has now ban plastic bags and will not give you any bags! Plastic is a HUGE environmental problem! Killing many earth and water animals every day from being suffocated and releasing chemicals into our personal environment as well. Start re-using cloth bags!
I have two nylon bags that zip flat and small so I can carry them in what ever bag I take with me for the day. That way I always have them in case I stop on the way home. They are washable and will far outlast the cloth ones from the grocery store.
I loathe plastic bags. They are horrendous for the environment. I have seen animals shrink-wrapped in these voluminous bags we pitch. I am all about using my own bags.
When shopping, I either use a shoulder rucksack bag if I only need a few items or for food shopping put the goods in my bike pannier bags. Any odd plastic carrier bags I do get I tend to use for bin liners.
There does seem the be a shift in attitude from the shops on plastic bag policy. I used to get strange looks when the cashier automatically placed the item in a plastic bag then I took them out again to place in my own bag.
I don't think I have ever paid for a plastic carrier bag.
In Ireland they introduced bags for payment years and years ago, 16 cent per bag...... We all carry bags in our car now.... here unlike England you pay for everything 60 euro to visit your doctor.... I pay a hundred euro a month for prescription... don't get me started.
I don't understant the outrage being expressed here, a bag for groceries is a service, which has a cost, that service will either be added to the cost of bread and milk in which case youdon't get the option, or paid for as a seperate item on a bill, in which case you have the option to reuse it or buy a reusable bag.
The amount of damage being done to this planet is huge simply because things a re being thrown away and not reused. Do you really want your grandchildren scrabbling around in the dirt for food because you didn't recycle and reuse the resources you had access to?
For me, its not so much outrage as it is suspicion. I'm a big believer in reusing and recycling, but i honestly believe something else is happening here. and when you say we are paying for it in the price of the goods we buy, you are wrong. Out of 2 grocery stores here in my hometown, there is actually cheaper prices at the store who DOESN'T charge for bags. so there is something missing there. Please don't misunderstand me, the environment is also on my mind, but i think we need to be a little more critical nowadays about our spending and where we are spending our money.
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