Saturday, September 8, 2007

Get Your Grocery Bag Rebate!

The Armchair Fiduciary spent the last week in Ireland on vacation. One thing that is abundantantly clear is that the Emerald Isles are green in more than one way. The landscape is, of course, incredibly green after what appears to have been a summer full of nothing but rain according to Irish radio stations. However, what is also clear is that this is a country full of recyclers. There are blue and red and green bins everywhere to recycle pretty much everything. Indeed, on a trip to the grocery store I discovered that they don't even offer grocery bags. You are supposed to bring your own. If you do want a bag you have to pay for it (I think it is a government levied tax). Now my hat isn't totally off to the Irish. I'm not entirely sure this policy is having the ideal effect because it seems like everyone makes 1,000 trips to the grocery store per week with only one bag in hand. What they are saving environmentally by using less plastic bags they are probably spending in gas for all those trips.

However, this got me thinking. Indeed bags probably do cost grocery stores a lot of money. In the U.S. how simple would it be for a grocery store to offer you a rebate to bring your own bags (the 10 a typical once per week U.S. shopper has)? The rebate could even be slightly less than the cost of the bags so it would be win-win for the store and the customer. Well the green geniuses at Whole Foods have already thought of this. If you bring your own bags to Whole Foods they will give you a 5 cent per bag rebate. Why doesn't every grocery store in the U.S. do this? This is a no-brainer. Write your local grocery store (if you can't afford only Whole Foods) and lets start saving some money and the environment people!

1 comment:

Eva said...

Yep, even San Francisco is banning disposable bags! Other cities in the US are also considering bans.