Unfortunately, the citizens of Seattle recently voted against a proposal that would have made it mandatory for grocery, drug and convenience stores to charge 20 cents for each plastic or paper bag taken by customers.
What a great idea! What a shame! The use of these throwaway bags falls under the category of unnecessary consumption and we should be charged accordingly.
It took about two weeks, but carrying a reusable shopping bag eventually became ingrained in my routine. And even if we forget our bag or make a spontaneous purchase, do we really need a plastic bag for the orphan container of orange juice or the solo box of toothpaste we occasionally buy?
Whole Foods gives a 10-cent refund for each reusable bag used by customers. I took a survey of reusable bag-toting shoppers leaving my local Whole Foods and found that none of those polled uses a reusable bag to save the dime.
That being said, echoing the Seattle proposal, shouldn’t Whole Foods charge 10 cents for every bag that customers take? This would quickly make people think about the issue and, I firmly believe, increase the number of people using reusable bags.
Whole Foods, a public company, does not have to face a citizens’ vote. Yes, there are the shareholders to answer to, but Whole Foods has become a progressive company catering to left-leaning clientele. If any store can pull this off, it is Whole Foods.
I called the Whole Foods Northeast regional office and am waiting to hear back from the person who handles green issues. I’ll report on our conversation when it happens. In the meantime, what does everyone else think?