It seems quite popular today for grocery stores to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags (usually made from heavy duty fabric) from home in order to cart their groceries. Touted as a green initiative, the goal is to reduce the number of disposable plastic and paper bags the store consumes.
Of course, the store stands to save some money by reducing the number of disposable bags they use. They also stand to make some money by selling the “reusable” bags. Maybe the consumers should shoulder the cost of this greening, and maybe not, but that is not something I’m going to get into today.
One aspect of the “disposable vs reusable bag showdown” that I have not seen addressed is the fact that many people REUSE the disposable bags. Paper and plastic bags can be quite useful around the house, so changing grocery habits to include “reusable” bags would also come at the cost of no longer having these paper and plastic “disposable” bags around.