Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stop and Shop discontinuing plastic bags

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.


Bill Dusty said...

Michaelann, I'm taking your "never Big Y" to mean you wish that company ill. Are people who work at Big Y less worthy of employment than folks at foreign-owned Stop & Shop?

I just thought it was a little ironic that you had one post lamenting the loss of local jobs, then about two posts later show ill will towards a local company who employees several hundred people.

Happy Bunny Day!

Unknown said...

Not at all, I just want Big Y to change, and until they do, I'm not giving them my business. I've had some other Big Y experiences regarding their intolerance of petitioners who don't share their exact political views.

On the other hand, as you say, they are local and employ many people. I don't wish them ill will, just more social conscience.

Bill Dusty said...

Well, they *are* a private company, and I can't say that I'd be very "tolerant" of petitioners on my property if they were rallying for something I didn't agree with or like. Plus, as a shopper, I actually find these folks standing outside shopping center entrances a pain in the ass ;-)

Anonymous said...

From a practical (vs ethical) standpoint... Fabric bags hold more, requiring less trips back and forth from the car; they don't rip, dumping all your canned goods on the ground; they don't dig into your hands like plastic; and they don't clutter up your cabinets.

However, they do take longer at the check-out line. And, if I don't keep them in a very visible place, I'll forget to bring them into the store. Also, I can't use them as trash bags for my small wastebaskets... plastic is handy for that.

I hope the second thing the photographer did after "click" was pull the plastic out of that turtle's mouth.

Jessie said...

At my Stop & Shop in Boston, we can scan and bag our own stuff as we go along. Then, when we get to the check-out counter, all we have to do is point the scanner at the register and pay.

When the check-out girl stops flirting with the bag boy, and when the cashiers stop yelling conversations to each other four and five registers away, then I'll worry about them keeping their jobs.