Not anymore, or so it will be in California in the foreseeable future. By the year 2012, you will no longer be asked if you want paper or plastic, you will either have to bring your own, or be charged $.05 for a recycled paper bag. I can't wait for that to get to my home state.
I was recently at the grand opening of a grocery store where my company is a vendor. There were many of us from our company, and us who demonstrated the meat and cheese (Yes I work for a deli meat company) would rotate between giving out samples and greeting customers at the front door.
I saw a lady walk in with a bag from Whole Foods that read, 'I use to be a plastic bottle.' It was ingenious. I mean think about it. I told her how much we do in the green category and our conversation was going splendidly until an old fart of a man walked by and gruffed out, 'You will never see my use any of those.' I, of course, could say nothing, for I was on duty. But the lady I was talking to, did not have to obey my constraints. She, without missing a beat, politely told him, when they start charging you for them, you may see things differently. She had won me over.
But my daughter asked me, 'What if you gave people a discount for using the reusable bags, won't that make them use them more often?' And I told her no, and for this reason. People are so accustomed to BOGO, 1/2 off, sale, reduced price, clearance. BUT, when you take their money from them right out of their pockets, that makes them mad, and people do not like parting with their money.
So, I look forward to the day when folks get charged for the bags they use. There are may a day that I walk out and never even use a bag...for 1 item...really?
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