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Do You BYOB?

Posted April 06, 2011 7:00 AM

Many stores are dropping the unsuccessful rebates to shoppers who bring in reusable bags. As rebates have failed, some stores are placing signs in their parking lots to remind shoppers to bring in their reusable bags. Still other outlets are charging for the use of plastic bags. What else could motivate the average shopper to BYOB — "bring your own bag?" Would more environmental education help or maybe plastic bag recycling programs?

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#1

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/06/2011 1:36 PM

I want all the plastic bags I can get. If I can't get my monthly supply of doggie poop bags from my normal shopping to recycle with a purpose, I'll have to start buying plastic bags which will only serve a single purpose instead of the wonderful dual purpose bags I get from the supermarket.

This should NOT be taxed, or mandated, or rebated or anything else. Leave the decision to the people. If the people want to support forestry workers, they will use paper bags. If people want the plastic bags (like myself, possibly for another purpose), so be it. If people want to support the textile industry of a third world country, then buy some cloth re-usable bags.

Let the people make the decisions... Get your Government off my freedom!

FYI: In my place of residence, this is a sore subject, as the local government is proposing a statewide plastic bag ban, which will cause a tax.. a per bag fee for the use of plastic bags... The local government is proposing to take away the citizens ability to make their own informed decisions. I need plastic bags to pick up 2 large dog's poos every day... If I can't recycle my market bags, I'll be buying bags... I'm not happy about it.

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#19
In reply to #1

Re: Do You BYOB?

10/11/2011 6:43 AM

You are lucky. In some states of my third world country there has been a ban on plastic bags for many years now. We have to pay for a bag and if you're not carrying your own bag, the cashier will almost look at you with disdain.

I can never understand this environmentalism especially when everything I buy from soaps to noodles to magazines to razors are all packaged with a useless layer of plastic!

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#2

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/06/2011 2:32 PM

A while back one of our larger local chain stores was offering "Going Green" reusable cloth bags for a $1 plus 5% off your discount if you bought one so for every purchase over $20, I made too many of those to count, I would purchase a new "Going Green" bag every time to get my 5% off and when I got home toss the old ones in the boiler and burn them as boiler fuel. For a while "going green" was saving me a pile of money, until the store ended their "Going Green" and 5% off promotion.

I wish more stores would promote "Going Green" like this being that if its done properly it saves me lots of money.

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#3

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/06/2011 11:04 PM

You seldom see aluminum cans on the highway, because they have value.We used to put a deposit on glass bottles, and they would not be thrown out..if so, someone would pick them up and return for the deposit.

A small refundable deposit would work.Not to reuse the bags, but to get them out of the environment. All disposables should have a deposit,redeemable at a recycling center.

Turn them in for a deposit, or trade them in for your new plastic bag.

The highways would stay clean, disadvantaged people would have some income, and wildlife would be protected.

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#4

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/07/2011 3:31 AM

In the UK three of the four major supermarkets have a bag for life scheme. 10p gets you a large heavy duty plastic bag. When it's damaged, you take it back and they replace it - FOC. The U/S ones are recycled. They also have collection points for used carrier bags to go to recycling. Two of these offer points on your loyalty card for each one you reuse when you shop (1 point per bag).

When I shop at a supermarket that doesn't offer me points, I take their FOC plastic bags, because I reuse these - to contain used cat litter destined for the bin. I'm currently out of bags....!

The shops also sell other longer lasting bags, including well made jute bags. You get points for reusing them, but they are not a BFL.

I believe Wales is considering banning plastic bags and taxing their use - like the first poster, I think that's short sighted. The energy and time involved in recycling those bags into special (expensive) bags for filling with cat litter is more harmful to the environment that the biodegradable bags being used twice and going into landfill.

Several English towns are also considering banning/taxing plastic bags within their boundaries.

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#5
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/07/2011 6:29 AM

Free plastic bags is an analogy to the tragedy of the commons - time you either accumulate, toss or burn the free bags.

A mandatory fee per bag engages peoples self interest - avoid the fee - re-use the bag.

The fee must be big enough to make people comply, 5 cents is too small. 50 cents is more like it. At 50 cents per bag you would see large changes in bag use. Almost all bags would be used again and again until they were totally frazzled, and in fact durable bags would force out the cheap bags.

Of course, it would lead to baglegging...

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#6

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/07/2011 8:33 AM

The number of bags we need to line our trash cans almost exactly matches the number of bags we get from our shopping trip. Somehow the more we buy the more trash can liners we need and the less we buy the less trash can liners we need.

To tax or require deposits on our shopping bags and tax the expensive bags we would then need to buy for our trash cans would not make sense. And, after paying for the people to administer these programs they would probably not make cents either.

If we open up our eyes and look around are shopping bags high on the list of things that threaten us? Are shopping bags perhaps just easier to deal with than some of our real problems?

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#7
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/07/2011 12:48 PM

I always take my own bags when I go shopping. Got quite a lot of free fabric bags when I went to a trade show and use them for shopping now.

I find it a lot easier than when there were all the free plastic bags, dont have to throw away that much more rubbish!

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#8
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/07/2011 1:48 PM

I agree whole-heartedly! If I didn't get my groceries in plastic bags, then I would have to buy plastic bags to line the trash cans in my house. (Sometimes I even ask for extra bags when I'm running low at home!) This way each bag gets used twice, which is better than buying bags for the sole use of lining trash cans.

Even if I could remember to bring my own bags when I go grocery shopping, I would not really be comfortable putting food in cloth bags, because there are inevitably some spills or just basically food transfer and that is just gross! That said - I probably should try to remember to bring my own bags when I go shopping for other things like clothes, because those bags do just build up in the house.

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#11
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/08/2011 7:49 AM

I can honestly say that I have never had a spill or any sort of food transfer onto the bags. If there was then I would just put the bag through the wash and it would be ready to use again.

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#20
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Re: Do You BYOB?

10/11/2011 6:49 AM

Exactly, I just posted about useless plastic packaging that nobody needs but has now become a peer issue for companies and they are all doing it!And we are all paying for that too in the cost of our products!

I have seen soaps wrapped in plastic and then put into a plastic-paper coextruded package. We take a second to rip it apart and discard it, at least polybags we reuse, catlitter, bin-lining, atleast it sees the light of the day again!

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#9

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/07/2011 4:03 PM

Trader Joe's has a raffle (gift certificate) for those who use reusable bags.

My problem is remembering to bring them in, and I'm too lazy to go back out to my car and get them, so I miss out on the raffle.

I think the sign "Remember to bring in your bags!" in the parking lot would help folks like me anyway.

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#12
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/08/2011 8:25 AM

I think the cloth bags are too small to use when shopping - I'd have to use a separate one for each box of cornflakes! And the one I have had cause to wash shrank (it now contains my floor cloths).

What I did with (some of) mine was to box 'em up and then hand them out to members of my Toastmasters International club so they could keep their manuals, paperwork and a pen in them - which makes getting to a meeting with everything you need so much easier!

I also use them as knitting bags - they're big enough for a couple of balls of wall, the item and the needles.

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#13
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/08/2011 8:44 AM

A curious thing about most cloth bags is that they seem to be made for tall people. Anyone 5'9" or less will find the bags hit the floor. This means that a high proportion of women will find them to be a nuisance for this reason.

I am 5'8" and had to shorten the straps in my bags for this reason

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#15
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/10/2011 3:28 AM

This is totally off topic but i have to ask: Who the the Toastmasters International?

That sounds absolutely fantastic and the picture I have in my mine is of loads of people using different bread to make toast! I'm probably totally wrong tho!

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#16
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Re: Do You BYOB?

04/10/2011 5:09 PM

As you can see, your comment is toast...

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#10

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/07/2011 6:11 PM

I've purchased bags but I seem to forget to bring them with me. I need to start keeping them in my car for times when I stop by the store unplanned. Although I do use the paper bags for recycling so I will probably never use the cloth bags exclusively.

- Husky

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#14

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/08/2011 10:31 PM

I always bring my own beer.

Seriously, my wife uses reusable cloth bags (for years now) and it has been great not having an excess of plastic or paper bags around.

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#17

Re: Do You BYOB?

04/14/2011 3:04 AM

My local supermarket uses biodegradable bags yet still manages to keep prices competitive with the big supermarkets.

Why aren't biodegradable bags on the green agenda?

Perhaps it's because a ban on plastic shopping bags would mean extra income for the supermarkets because:

1. They would no longer have the cost of providing free bags.

2. People would now have to buy bags to line their rubbish bins etc.

Note that a ban on plastic shopping bags could actually result in more plastic bags in the environment!

Of course admitting this would not be acceptable so it must be given a "green" slant and everyone then charged extra.

Perhaps "follow the money trail" might be sound thinking here. (Please pardon my paranoia)

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#18

Re: Do You BYOB?

05/16/2011 10:33 AM

I never take a bag - big nuisance and like others say - there uses for them later.

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#21

Re: Do You BYOB?

10/30/2011 3:33 AM

Like many others, I reuse my disposable bags.

Bin liners. If plastic bags were banned, I would have to buy these.

Trapping cane toads. These introduced animals are a significant environmental (and physical) pest here. You go out at night and pick them up in a plastic bag (they exude a toxin on their back when disturbed) and put them in the freezer.

I sometimes have to ask the supermarket for more bags because I run out.

As mentioned earlier, my supermarket uses biodegradable plastic bags, so environmental damage from them is minor and short term only.

Many others also use them to reduce plastic bag use for other purposes.

The scheme to tax supermarket bags is simply another badly thought out green scheme intended to make governments think they are doing something useful, when they will actually wind up making no difference to plastic bags in the environment and may even increase them.

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