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?