02006-09-17 | Environment | 6 comments

Why is it so impossible for Americans to bring a cloth shopping bag to the grocery store?


  1. Adam Solomon

    Because (at least from my perspective) the idea is not presented to the general public enough, so we never even think about it. This is certainly the first time I’ve heard of any such idea, despite its merits. Advertisement often is as important as the idea, for better or worse.

  2. Danielle

    …Because grocery stores make their paper and plastic ones so available, and they are free. If a per-bag fee were added to our expenses, I bet we would all think twice about reusing bags or bringing our own.

  3. David Jr.

    Well, the bags are not exactly free, they’re figured into the store’s budget. But they do need to let people know they are paying for the bags, then I think shoppers will think twice.


    (GPS Alameda/Oakland Cali haha)

  4. marijose

    Some supermarkets sell cloth shopping bags with their logos and also give customers a per-bag discount for each cloth bag they use during check-out. I like the idea of a per-bag fee at checkout.

    Paper and plastic bags can be reused or recycled. The paper bags can be used as containers for recycling paper. Plastic bags can be used to line small trash cans or can be taken back to grocery stores for recycling (many stores have recycling bins for plastic bags near the entrance).

  5. Anna

    In Australia grocery stores pack everything into plastic bags, unless you bring your own cloth bag. Cloth bags can be purchased.

  6. Gabrielle

    One of the largest chains here in France has stopped giving out plastic bags. You can buy recycled plastic bags if you like, or you can buy big cloth things. All other supermarket chains sell cloth bags, which more and more people are using. Easy to store in your bag and great for the day-to-day stuff. The big stuff, well, online shopping is catching on in a big way here, esp. for those of us who live up 4 flights without an elevator. There’s a great recycling program here, so come Tuesdays and Fridays I see a lot of telemarket.fr boxes neatly folded up for collection.


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