Sunday, February 26, 2006

gb # 18 gone shopping

When I traveled to the Netherlands several years ago I noticed that the local grocery stores charged a price for the bags used to carry home the groceries. The bags were sturdier than those used by chain grocery stores here in the United States. The price was equal to about $0.50 per bag. This adds up quickly my local host told me so the Dutch usually save their bags and reuse them as many times as possible. I thought this a wonderful response to the wasteful practice of using disposable plastic bags each time a customer totes home some groceries. My response was realized enacted when my sister-in-law gave me as a gift 2 reusable grocery bags.

I have just gotten accustom to the ritual of taking them in with me to the grocery store, using them to bag my groceries, driving home to unloading the bags and then remembering to take them next time I go to shop. This afternoon though as I was checking out with my groceries when the woman helping me offered me a “bag credit”. She refunded $0.05 from my bill for each of my own bags I used. This is not an enormous amount of money but I was surprised by the event. This had never happened before. This program is not advertised. The bags are not for sale at the grocery store, but apparently if you get them yourself you will earn a rebate each time you buy food. I am happy about this but still puzzled by how much more straight forward the Dutch system works. Either way I wanted you to know about it.

Buy your own reusable bags!

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