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[GreenYes] Re: grocery stores that charge for bags

Hi Eric:
I proposed this idea to a grocery chain in Washington as
part of the Wastebuster business waste reduction
demonstration project in 1992. They couldn't believe their
ears. They wouldn't even consider making the suggestion to
customers, so that we could test customer feedback. I had
heard that charging for bags is common in Europe (don't
know if that's true?), but as long as the competitor down
the street was giving bags away, they saw free bags as just
a cost of doing business.

It makes sense to me that in a business with such small
margins that they wouldn't give away bags. Maybe they
wouldn't charge full price, but a penny or so, with a
give-back for people who bring their own to encourage
reuse. But competition and convention are powerful inertia.

Every once in a while, I would bring the idea up again in
conversation with other grocery managers, but they proved
quite stubborn on the issue.

Good luck if you are getting some consideration of the idea
where you are.

Jim Jensen
Seattle, WA

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