Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bagging it

I'm back from my Saturday morning farmer's market/grocery shopping. It hit me this morning how things have changed so much in the past year with shopping bags. Last year, I took my own bags to the farmer's market and a couple of the vendors looked at me like I was from Mars when I said that I didn't need a bag, I had my own. Now almost every shopper I see at the farmer's market has their own bags.

Then I made a pit stop at our grocery store with my trusty old bags. The cashier remarked, "Wow...these are our really OLD bags! They're so much better than the new ones!", which is totally true. It seems most of the new bags are made from this thin semi-fabric/semi-papery material that seems like it could rip easily. My old bags (bought from the store when I moved into my first apartment in 1992) are canvas and washable and have held up for more than 15 years.

The cashier also told me that the grocery store (Safeway) is phasing out plastic bags. She said they will only have limited quantities and customers will have to pay for them. I'm sure the cost will be minimal, but if it helps reduce the amount of plastic bag waste, I'm all for it.


Kathryn B. said...

As I commented here, I think grocery stores have a vested interest in selling us the thin, cheap bags. Unfortunately, if they rip, they just become another disposable product (albeit a bit longer-lived) and the store is more than happy to sell us another one. I hope that both stores and consumers will start taking the longer view and invest in bags that are made to last.

Justine said...

I'm glad to see stores are going to phase out plastic bags. Lots of stores in my areas are actually giving you a few cents for every bag you bring in to bag your own!

Leah Ingram said...

I'd say that in the last three months, I've noticed more and more shoppers that are going to traditional stores with their own bags. Last year when I started doing this, I felt like the freak at the freak show, and I don't think that the cashiers and baggers knew what to do with me when I said that I brought my own bags. While I'll bet that I'm still in a minority, I do notice more shoppers schlepping home their purchases in reusable bags.

From Bottle to Box said...

I too have been using my own bags for years. A neighbor who has since past made and gave them to me as a gift. They are very durable canvas bags - so easy to make. I think of her on every trip to the grocery. Also, a great project for kids.