Nov 10, 2009

Ditch the Bag and Roll With Me :o)

We have been using cloth reusable bags at our local Martins grocery store for a couple of years now, and we get the $0.05 discount. But more importantly, we are not using the plastic bags, which cuts down on garbage, reduces oil usage (petroleum is used to make plastic), and they are actually more convenient when you get used to them. So, today, there are two new national chains, Target and CVS, rolling out programs to get shoppers to trim their reliance on plastic grocery bags.

The nation's fifth-largest retailer along with the country's largest prescription provider are each launching plastic bag-reduction incentives. Both brands have test-marketed the new campaigns and are introducing them in all of their stores (that's 1,700 Target locations and 7,000 CVS sites).

The Target plan offers customers five cents off their bill for every reusable bag they use in lieu of a plastic bag. A Target spokesperson says any reusable bag is acceptable, but you're not allowed to bring in plastic bags from your last trip to the store. The five-cent discount is available to all shoppers.

Unlike Target's plan, the CVS program is only available to shoppers who are -- or become -- members of the pharmacy's loyalty program, ExtraCare, and it requires an upfront investment in the form of a 99-cent "GreenBagTag." Loyalty program members can have the tag swiped every time they come to a CVS and forgo a plastic bag -- either by bringing a reusable bag with them or carrying their purchases out sans bag. After every four "green" swipes, the customer will get a coupon printed on the bottom of their receipt for a dollar off a future shopping trip.


  1. San Francisco has banned the use of plastic bags in certain stores (grocery stores). Recently they tried to take it one step further to ban paper bags. (Voters said, "Hell no.") Berkeley Bowl still offers both but if you bring your own, you get a discount on your bill.

  2. I'm with you, Ken. I ahve also quit buying bottled water for similar reasons. Water bottles are flooding our landfills and ending up in our rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. We have to start treating our Mother Earth with more love and care!

  3. i use my reuseable totes for everything, not just groceries. i like them because they can be easily slung over a shoulder, making it easier to carry large amounts of *stuff* up to my flat without having to make multiple trips up and down the stairs.


  4. We've been usuing the canvas bags for a few years now and yet we still get looks from people when we put them out.
    Some folks won't ever get it.

    A month ago, while doing our groceries, we put the bags up and the bagger pushed them aside and started using plastic. I didn't notice until he was about halfway done. He was pissed as he could be when I asked that he take the groceries out of the plastic and put them in our bags.

    Bummer. For him.

  5. I have been using reusable bags for a couple of years. It helps out because the bags are far studier and helps me limit my purchases!

  6. I went green a couple of years ago. Gosh, as a kid, I remember my mother made her own canvas shopping bags because they were sturdy and that was well before plastic.

    I don't buy bottled water. And, if given a choice, I only buy products in glass instead of olive oil, glass jars for other products, etc.

    Some simple things from years ago work beautiful today.

  7. Ken, nice to know more stores are signing on to the bad discount bandwagon.

    Stan designed and made our canvas bags. We've been using them few years now. We like them and think they are easier to carry than plastic. We do still get looks from people when we put them down on the checkout. Sometimes they have no idea what they are for. Sometimes cashiers think we are buying them. Whatever.

  8. We also have been using reusable bags for our groceries AND other purchases for the past couple of years. In addition to cutting down on plastic usage, they are far superior. Two years and our bags are still going strong. Also in our city, the two major grocery chains give a .05 discount regardless of whose bags one brings in.

  9. Dear Ken,
    thank you for telling mus about this!
    It sounds great!
    Please come by to wish veterans a Happy Veterans day! and Happy Veteran Day to you and Beth!

  10. In Toronto, retailers are required, by law, to charge an extra 5¢ for every plastic bag used.


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