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Urban Woodswalker

Hey, I still get confused looks from cashiers when I say "No plastic bag...thank you." Sometimes, I will just walk out of the store with the one or 2 items in my bare hands...with the receipt prominently visible that is.

I also have seen them start to bag my groceries, despite my own bag is sitting right there...due to busy checkouts, and they are not mindfully focused.

You mention that bags sold by the checkout counter. Yes, I suppose they are a better solution then nothing...but most often those are plastic polyester fiber...and they get worn, and wind up in landfills after many uses too. They are not recyclable.

I had bought several of them over the past few years before I got wiser. I have seen how most wear poorly and don't have much of an extended life. I believe they are just yet another way for the plastics industry to "appear green." There are 2 kinds...those fabric feeling ones (polyester fabric) ...they do not wear long or well. Then the plastic totes...which are just thicker plastic bags...often times with cool graphics we all are drawn to at a moments notice.

In the end they all are plastic...and all are not recyclable.. I wonder just how many of these...wind up in landfills each year too? Sure, using them cuts down on the "free" store plastic bags...but I feel we are duped into feeling we are going green...when we are just STILL using plastic bags...only we PAY for them!

Give me a canvas bag I can throw in the washing machine...it lasts decades. It can be patched up.

Thanks for yet another great post Joy.


In Portland, there is an ordinance that the stores can not hand out plastic bags for groceries (though produce bags are still okay) so everyone brings their own reusable bags or occasionally uses a paper bag. But when I was in Montana this summer, I got a lot of weird looks when I just wanted to put my groceries in my backpack.

Urbanwoodswalker - Great thoughts on plastic reusable bags. I hadn't even thought of that, but you're right, they get worn out fast especially if you run them through the washing machine occasionally. I have two canvas bags; will be using them for groceries from now on!

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

I wish more places were like Portland on the eco-front! I just got some reusable produce bags last month. Now those are getting the semi-odd stares, but I dont really care. Hopefully, theyll be commonplace someday, too. The plastic produce bags were really adding up at our house, and theyre relatively useless for reusing (too thin).

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Good point on the bags. I have so many canvas bags from events that I do use those, in conjunction with the plasticized reusable grocery bags. The other problem with the latter is that they can harbor bacteria/germs/other nasties from the foods you put into them. They should be swabbed down with disinfectant from time to time. Youre right--canvas is best because they can be machine-washed.

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