Should the US start charging for grocery bags?

In some parts of Europe, including here in Germany, grocery stores either assume you will bring your own bag, or if you don’t buy much, just hand-carry your groceries to the car. You can get plastic or paper bags, but there is usually a small charge for them. It seems to cut down on the very wasteful practice of accumulating these cheap, plastic sacks. I know some places recycle them, but most people just throw them away.

Should American grocery stores stop giving bags away for free, and start charging you for them?

Answer #1

grocerys if this is a american term for food, then you should not worry about chargin money because in the films I see you use brown paper bags which are biogradable. :P xx

Answer #2

It is a good idea BUT… I don’t want to have to pay for my grociries and have to pay for the plastic bags. It is good because then we won’t have so much pollution from plastic.

Answer #3

It depends. I don’t live in US. But with us in South-Africa it was really poluted with plastic bags a few years back and then they started charging for grocery bags and now you don’t see a single one lying around. so could be a good idea.

Answer #4

Absolutely. We’ve been using canvass bags for years. We have one insulated plastic bag for the meats and so forth.

One nice thing they do here that I did not see in the States, is put a small bag of ice in with the cold items to keep them cool.

Answer #5

In any case, this is a moot point. Publix, Whole Foods, and a host of other large chains are definitely moving their customers away from disposable bags (paper OR plastic).

Whole foods is almost there. Publix if pretty close right now.

Basically they sell you a low cost permanent bag, which you can use in the future.

Answer #6

Groceries may be high, but it’s not like you would be buying gorcery bags every time you went to the store. They sell bags that are durable and last up to 200 uses, and they are only 5-10 cents each. Wouldn’t you think that it’s worth it to save the environment a little bit more?

Answer #7

I think its kinda dumb, like one said, groceries are high as it is, and knowing the way us is, it wouldn stay cheap for long. where I live, they dont do that, and I hope they never will

Answer #8

no!!! that is the most stupid thing I have ever heard, because then all the stores will run out of money, I mean seriously, groceries cost enough as it is!

Answer #9

How would they lose money from that? That would actually make more money! They would not have to purchase millions of plastic bags every couple of months, and they also would make a profit on selling bags to customers.

Answer #10

I’ve been bringing my own bags to grocery stores for over 20 years. I used to use canvas bags that I could wash when they got nasty. Now I have some heavy plastic bags with a bit of insulation and stiff sides that once you get a few items in stand up on their own.

Many grocery stores give you $.05 back for every bag you bring. People who don’t bring their own bags in effect are paying a nickel for each one since they don’t get the discount.

I can see how psychologically it may be more effective to charge people a nickel per bag than to give customers a nickel who bring their own.

Answer #11

NO a lot of stores I knwo have recylebye grocery bags now or those bio bags or reusble bags

Answer #12

I think they should start charging and not give plastic bags anymore, because I am in Austria and everywhere here people bring their own reuseable bags when at the supermarket or they can buy reuseable ones. Also it beginning to get better in the uk and england where I am from the stores are limiting people from being able to have the plastic bags and buying reuseable ones. It is better in the long run if we reuse rather than litter with plastic etc or put in the bin. Also in England it is possible to put your plastic bags in recycling bins next to the stores so they dont have to be thrown in the bin.

Answer #13

South Australia is the first Australian state to ban plastic bags. The legislation to ban plastic bags was passed two days ago by the state’s Parliament. The ban will be phased in from January 1. By 4 May 2009, South Australian shops will not be allowed to supply light-weight single-use polyethylene plastic bags.

Large and small retailers, including supermarket and non-supermarket retailers, and take-away food shops will all be affected by the proposed ban. The penalty for retailers who supply a banned bag will be an on-the-spot fine of $315 for each offence. Single use paper bags and compostable biodegradable bags that meet Australian Standard AS 4736-2006 are excluded from the proposed ban.

The ban is designed to encourage people to bring reusable bags when they shop :)

And this one’s for Lish:

Last year, Australians used over 4 Billion plastic checkout bags, most of which ended up in landfill or the environment. Imagine a bigger number, for the United States. Bans will lead to a significant reduction in the number of marine animals that are killed or injured every year by plastic bags.

So let’s not be so ignorant towards the environment, the whole reason on why we should ban plastic bags :)

Answer #14

Yes they should start charging. I work in retail and you’d be surprised by the people who try to take our bags. People complain these things suck I want them double or triple bagged, like I say you can’t expect the best for nothing. We have to stop customers from walking out with handfuls. Why because they want free bags to clean up after their pets or for trash liners. I use 24 reusable bags and still have plenty of those horrible plastic bags, that I hate. The dyes on them are bad and like I taught my mom I said “everytime you throw one of those away you’re killing an animal”. She ask how I said “they don’t decompose so they take up a lot of there homes, if not that they eat it, or as the previuos lady said “they sufficate in it”. Guess what she quit throwing them away and went reusuable. Yes are world would be a lot better if people had to buy them, there wouldn’t be so many thrown away.

Answer #15

darn Europeans… I bet you charge for matches when people buy cigarettes.. charge for toliet paper do you? By the meter I bet.

But I am at a standstill with myself… I don’t do anything to help the world, so I could do that… at the same time, I don’t have a car so when I get the chance, I stock up at the store - non of this hand held items…

Either way, I think the price should just be obsorbed in the cost of food, and not make such a big stink about it. The current bag price MUST be currently part of the budget, it is a basic necessity to keep the operation going . so I o not see them needing to compensate themselves more so for the use of these bags, as the profit margin should have already considered this factor.

Answer #16

I think it’s a great idea. It would definatly help because you wouldn’t be wasting so much and you would be recycling the bags. Recently the stores near my house have started selling bag made of tough material near the registers that you can opt to buy, instead of using theirs. They are only like 5-10 cents and you can use them up to 200 hundred times they say. I think that’s a great option.

Answer #17

A lot of Canadian grocery stores are like that too, not all of them but most. Some of the grocery stores here will charge 5 cents a plastic bag but some of the stores have boxes. Most people take those environmentally friendly reusable bags, I see people use them all the time. I don’t think it’s a horrible idea, as annoying as it is sometimes, it really does make people think of other choices (usually material bags, the environmentally friendly ones, etc.) and it is making a difference.

Answer #18

First of all it takes petroleum to make plastic bags. Which if anyone hasn’t noticed this is a resource we are using a great deal of & the cost keeps rising. So does my grocery cost due to petroleum. So the less we make this resource so scarce & hard to come by it won’t cost as much. Also we are making other countries richer by the fact we import it all. So once again not supporting the USA citizens. So if I take in my own the grocery store has less expense. I don’t support buying foreign petroleum or a bag manufacturing plant in another country. Secondly they don’t end up being recycled all most all the time. Nor do they stay in a land fill. They fly around and land in our natural environment. Killing precious life. Why should any creature have to sufficate in a bag? Would you want your life to end that way or someone you love. Because many children die by playing in these convient bags also. I always try to use my own bag or not use one at all. Also try to buy products with little waste as possibel. God did only give us one earth.

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