Posts Tagged ‘shopping bags’

Grocery Bags Carry Unintended Consequences

May 12, 2014

Grocery Bags Carry Unintended Consequences
People who bring their own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store to help the environment are more likely to buy organic items … and then buy ice cream and cookies, according to new research. Hey, those folks saved the environment, they deserve a treat, right?


“How Grocery Bags Manipulate Your Mind,” Carmen Nobel, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Attack of the Plastic Bags!

June 2, 2011

Attack of the Plastic Bags!
Disposable plastic bags just sit there, clogging our landfills and oceans, but their manufacturers aren’t so passive. Three of them are suing a reusable bag maker for saying  … that plastic bags clog our landfills and oceans. They claim such talk has “irreparably harmed” their business.


Grocery Bag Maintenance

January 11, 2010

Grocery Bag Naintenance

The District of Columbia’s new nickel tax on disposable grocery bags is over a week old and seems to be going fairly smoothly. Some retailers even offer shoppers a discount for bringing their own bags. Portland, Toronto, and other ecology-minded jurisdictions are jealous.

There is some whining, or course, and a few extremists waste gas and contribute to Virginia’s treasury by driving to Old Dominion supermarkets to save a few nickels on “paper or plastic.” Virginia collects tax on grocery purchases, surely the most regressive tax in the USA.

There are plenty of businesses and organizations offering free or cheap reusable shopping bags, but little knowledge about their upkeep and maintenance. Time to look under the hood.


Shopping Bag Warning

November 17, 2009

Shopping Bag Warning

The District of  Columbia Government is starting an awareness campaign to prepare citizens for January 1st, when the new five-cent shopping bag tax goes into effect. The law is meant to discourage use of disposable bags and reduce the amount of trash that clogs storm drains and the Anacostia River.

Take-out food orders are exempt, but dog owners will need to buy rolls of biodegradable poop bags to clean up after Fido. Hey, stop grumbling about pennies. Everybody knows that children are for people who can’t afford dogs.

Something the law does not take into account: shopping bag antagonism. If you don’t know what that is, carry your limited-edition reusable Whole Foods canvas totes (designed by Cheryl Crow) into Food Lion. People will assume you are a snob who is just slumming. Or carry a pair of nylon Safeway bags into Trader Joe’s. Shoppers and clerks will regard you as an interloper unworthy of the gourmet goodies. The truly cool will use handmade bags or baskets, trumping everyone.


DC Shopping Bag Bill

June 3, 2009

DC Shopping Bag Bill

The District of Columbia Council held an initial vote on a bill to impose a five cent tax on disposable shopping bags. The measure (introduced by Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells) was approved unnanimously. Further voting is required to  pass the legislation.

Opposition to the measure comes from the plastics industry, bag manufacturers, self-proclaimed defenders of the poor, and dog owners. Anyone who doesn’t have a few cents a day for biodegradable dog poop bags clearly cannot afford to keep a pet, and arguements that the “Bag Bill” is elitist are clearly bogus.