Reusable Grocery Bags

General tips, questions and answers about going green in your home and business. Achieve a more environmentally friendly lifestyle!

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby zzsstt » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:10 pm

We have recently discovered that the self checkouts at our local supermarket have been set to use only the bags bought at that supermarket. To use a reusable bag from another supermarket, you have to find a shop assistant to over-ride the automatic system. So the "save the world" slogan once again becomes "make a buck". It's especially annoying for us because we use two different supermarkets. Because we cannot get everything we need at the most local supermarket we make a weekly trip to another, which won't let us use the same bags........

As Tracker mentioned, there is another side to the bio-degradable issue. Many industrial and agricultural products are now supplied in biodegradable bags. On the face of it this seems like a good idea, but often these products are not used immediately. I have personally experienced large bags (40Kg) that appear to be fine but simply fall apart when picked up, showering the entire area (including the person doing the lifting) with whatever they contained, and then begging the question "how do we deal with a stack of 28 bags of granular product that will fall apart of they are touched?".
zzsstt
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:27 pm

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby munter » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:25 pm

How can a supermarket control what sort of bags shoppers use?!? What is their policy? Do you have a link? If this is genuine then I say name and shame them!
http://renovations08.blogspot.com/ - my energy efficiency blog
munter
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby zzsstt » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:41 pm

munter wrote:How can a supermarket control what sort of bags shoppers use?!? What is their policy? Do you have a link? If this is genuine then I say name and shame them!


Supermarkets control everything.They drive every other small vendor out of business and then sell you what they want you to buy. In the UK, the supermarkets sell almost entirely "own brand" produce, so you have no idea where it came from and they can source the cheapest raw materials with no regard to the producer. If they remove the producers name and force people to buy "own brand", they can then use whatever producer and whatever raw materials are cheapest, thus removing any brand premium for a given product. Once a product becomes generic ("choccy bickies" rather than "TimTams"), they can drive their buy price down by using whichever factory, Australian or otherwise, will make the product at the lowest price. They have started doing the same thing over here. That they try to make sure you use bags that they have made a profit from, and with their name all over, surely does not come as a surprise?

The self checkout system involves placing "your" bag on the platform and then scanning your items and putting them in your bag. I imagine that they use a load cell to make sure that the items that you scan are the ones you put in the bag. So presumably either they have calibrated the load cell to weigh the empty bag very accurately, and bags from different sources are so radically different in weight that they fall outside the accepted range, or the bags have been electronically marked in some way. I would doubt they would have the nerve to tag the bags, the publicity would not be nice if they were found out, so I'm guessing they've made their bags weight very specific and very different from the other supermarkets bags! Technically it's very easy to do, can be easily justified on the grounds of prevention of abuse of (i.e. theft from) the self checkout system and, "of course you can use whatever bags you like, just call for an assistant, and look embarrassed while you hold up everyone else until for the assistant comes and over-rides the system".
zzsstt
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:27 pm

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby Sh02 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:57 pm

I have never understood why Australia hasn't adopted Reusable Grocery Bags and started charging for plastic bags to discourage there use. It is good to hear South Australia has start this initiative, know here's hoping the rest of Australia follows.
Sh02
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby zzsstt » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:47 am

Sh02 wrote:I have never understood why Australia hasn't adopted Reusable Grocery Bags and started charging for plastic bags to discourage there use. It is good to hear South Australia has start this initiative, know here's hoping the rest of Australia follows.


Here's hoping NOT. Like everything, such a system has pro's and cons and is open to abuse. When I shop, it is often not on the basis of a "weekly buy", but more likely to get a few things for which I have a specific requirement, be that food, clothing or anything else. In such a situation, I do not have reusable bags with me. If I am buying only an item or two I do not need (or request) a bag. However for more items than I can carry, I will get a bag - but I don't want to pay for it.

If shops (not just supermarkets) could charge for plastic bags, it might discourage their use. However it would also be another source of profit for the supermarkets, and it would also encourage the increase of prices of reusable bags, and a decrease in their quality (this has already started, we have "original" resuable bags that are still going strong whilst the more recent versions have fallen apart) as this also becomes another source of profit for the store. Overall, people who for whatever reason do not have resuable bags available will be forced to pay, and they WILL pay because they have no choice. People with reusable bags will have to replace them every few trips as the quality and longevity goes down. The only real benefit is to the supermarket (no surprise there!).

Of course, really this is all utter nonsense when you start to consider what these bags are being used for - taking home tonnes of packaging (mostly plastic) around products like electrically powered air fresheners that nobody really needs anyway.

Like most "green" issues, charging for plastic bags is something that provides another income string, allows somebody to make a big noise about how much good they are doing, sucks in people who don't think in any great depth about the REAL problem, and in fact avoids the need to actually look at what "needs" to be done (if only we were serious about the issues).

A supermarket plastic bag, used to carry a variety of items back from the supermarket and then serving a secondary use as a rubbish bag (thus removing the need to make/transport/buy "proper" rubbish bags) before transporting it's load of rubbish to the tip, weighs about 7grams on my scales. The plastic wrapper of an emery board for shaping fingernails (which is also made, transported and purchased etc.) weighs slightly more, BUT IT IS A NON REUSABLE PIECE OF INSTANT LANDFILL.

Now, count up the amount of plastic wrapping, non-essential products, high resource utilisation luxury goods etc. that occupy most of the shopping bags that leave the supermarket. Then tell me that charging for carrier bags is going to make any significant difference to anything. Oh sure it will make some difference, but mainly it will mean that we can pretend to be oh-so-concerned whilst not actually dealing with the real issues, changing our lifestyles or (god forbid) reducing our profit margins........
zzsstt
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:27 pm

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby bpratt » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:42 pm

One of the big issues that I see and has been mentioned, is the replacement bags appear in most case to be worse than anything else.

What was wrong with bringing in checkout bags that effectively decompose after several months ?

Paper bags are fine in certain cases, but anything damp/moist/wet falls straight through.

Anyone been to a hardware shop with a no-bag policy, and ended up losing half of what you've bought on the way home because the boxes are either too big, or allow small things to slip through?

I see that sort of thing of pandering down to the politically correct wankers in society. What is wrong with providing small paper bags for stuff, or are they just trying to get us to deal with their rubbish disposal by using the empty boxes ? :)
Kaco 6600
26 x Trina Honey 250w panels. (wish I could work out how to upload to pvoutput.org)

New house build :-
http://bandlnewhomebuild.blogspot.com

My weather station :-
http://jimboombaweather.com
bpratt
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 944
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:09 am
Location: Jimboomba, Queensland - Energex and Origin

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby stegner00 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:27 pm

I think it's about time people started using reusable grocery bags. It doesn't matter that you have to buy it. It's reusable anyway and you will be able to help the environment too.
stegner00
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:04 pm

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby Farmer » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:14 pm

Good isnt it, now they have banned plastic shopping bags, the folk in the cities buy black bin liners that are 6 times thicker and heavier than the bin liners i use and therefore add 600% more plastic to landfill
Farmer
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:19 pm

Re: Reusable Grocery Bags

Postby greg c » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:14 pm

Use a box. When we were first married (30 years ago) the local supermarket had no plastic bags, you came to the checkout and your shopping was transferred from your trolley to another after the goods had been put through the register. Then you took that trolley to do what you wanted. There was a bin full of cardboard boxes and some benches so you could pack your shopping into box(s). Most people did this but some just took the trolley to their car and chucked the shopping in the boot.

When we moved we came across the dreaded bags. We used to bring a box along, it lasted for about 8 years but as the kids grew it couldn't hold everything so we gave in. When they introduced the green bags we leapt at those, bought about 8 and they are several years old now. However I think the box idea is the best, I think some Franklins stores still do it. You get a sturdy container that is being reused and that ultimately can be recycled. Could be the solution for the nursery, whenever we go to one there are always boxes to use to take the plants home in.

Greg
User avatar
greg c
Solar Evangelist
Solar Evangelist
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:03 pm

Previous

Return to Living Green

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

new solar power specials
cron