Reusable Shopping Bags, Incentives, and Recycling

I have been using reusable shopping bags for about a year now.  Not only are they better for the environment, but I have found that they are easier to carry and more sturdy, which was especially helpful when we lived over my parents’ garage and I had to haul groceries up the stairs.  I’ve purchased the bags from all over, including Stop & Shop, IGA, and Walmart, and I am not concerned at all about using them in the store that I purchased them from. 

Anyway, today when I was at Stop & Shop, after we were through bagging my groceries, the cashier asked me how many bags I had.  I counted seven, and she subtracted $.05 for each bag.  She explained that this is a new promotion to encourage people to bring their own bags.  Which is great, because I already do, and even though it’s not that much money, a little bit will add up over time.  I’m not sure if all Stop & Shops are doing this, or if it’s just this one because they’re feeling the pressure from the new Big Y in town.

Here’s my only problem.  The town of North Branford requires that newspapers, junk mail, magazines, and cardboard be separated in the recycling bin and placed in paper bags.  I do not use paper bags, so I have to make a point to get some once a week.  Isn’t this defeating the purpose?  I’ve started to put the cardboard into a large cardboard box, eliminating the need for one bag.  Seeing as we don’t get a newspaper, just the flyers, we don’t have a lot of them laying around, and I’m sure I could just tie them together.  The same is probably true for the magazines.  But what about the junk mail?  And why don’t they come up with a better system that doesn’t create paper bag waste for the sake of recycling?

1 Comment

Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

One response to “Reusable Shopping Bags, Incentives, and Recycling

  1. Mom

    Funny, but I’ve found myself in the same situation, looking for brown bags to recycle our old newspapers in. I solved this by just placing the reams of papers in a cardboard box, and I’m sure you could tie them together w/ string, too, although that’s not as handy while you’re actually collecting the papers during the week.

    I’ve also felt guilty asking for brown bags just to recycle paper in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s