I went to Stop & Shop today (never Big Y) to pick up some foodstuff for a party tonight, and I heard the cashier ask the woman ahead of me if she wanted to buy a Stop & Shop reusable bag for 99 cents.
"No, thanks," she said.
"You'll have to do it sooner or later," the elderly bagger said, "because after this month, we won't be providing them anymore."
"Will you still have a job?" I asked the bagger.
"Oh, yes, we'll all still be here," he said.
Now, I'm not sure if Stop & Shop's bags are being produced in an environmentally responsible way-- I'll find out more the next time I go-- but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Every now and then, voluntary action gets the jump on mandated regulation.
I've often thought that manufacturing shopping bags could be a great cottage industry right right here in Western Mass. It's just one of the very manyl green collar jobs that could help revitalize our region if we only had the vision and the will.
One of my daughters is getting married in June, and last year for Christmas I bought her enough bags for a two-person household from Eco-Bags. I liked the product a lot, and the prices were reasonable given that they are fair trade and environmentally manufactured, but how much nicer-- as well as more environmental-- if I had been able to buy it locally!
I wrote back in February about some of the larger issues with plastic waste-- and yes, I know it's not the only environmental change we have to make-- but it is a significant problem and I'm proud of Stiop & Shop for making a move in the right direction.