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Whole Foods Bans Plastic Bags

Plastic bags seem to be the new public enemy number one. They have already been banned in San Francisco, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and several other cities. Not to mention that the entire country of China is going to start charging consumers for them. Having said all that, it should come as no surprise to hear that Whole Foods is eliminating plastic grocery bags from its stores. The chain is hoping to encourage folks to BYOB — Bring Your Own Bag — and will refund five cents for every brought bag that is used. Folks who don't bring their own bags will be able to use Whole Foods's 100 percent recycled and recyclable paper bags. It is hoping to be completely plastic bag free by Earth Day, April 22, 2008.

So what do you think of this plastic bag ban? Do you agree? Will you be bringing your own bag?

Join The Conversation
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
Also, Aldi & IKEA has been charging for bags for a long time now
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
this is stupid!! i have never once in my life thrown away a plastic bag! i re-use them for so many things. like trash bags in smaller waste baskets and i bring a bunch with me to the beach for wet swimsuits. this makes no sense!
mo_ri_ah mo_ri_ah 9 years
I know it's better for the environment not to offer plastic bags, but that's how I pick up dog poop!
sophiebella sophiebella 9 years
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
I love the idea. Whole Foods in Austin, TX banned them a year ago and because it did so well they apparently have decided to spread it to all their stores. I use fabric bags from Whole Foods, Half Price Books and HEB to shop at many different stores. The bags make great totes as well so I get alot of use out of them. Very cool.
Lynne Lynne 9 years
I have some really sturdy cloth/canvas bags that I bought from Wal-Mart for $1 each. They hold quite a bit and I can even sling them over my shoulder in order to haul in the paper bags when I do major shopping. Once unloaded, I put them on my front door handle to take into my car the next time I go out. Come on...for $1, you can't go wrong. I also like the incentive to get money back. 5 cents may not seem like a lot, but add it up over the course of a year, for every bag brought it, you're getting something back...and on the plus-side, you don't have to claim it as income!
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 9 years
NO BAD NEWS! I like plastic bags: I always get them!!! ha ha!
tati33 tati33 9 years
Trader Joes sells reusable bags as well. So lately when I go shopping for food about once a week. I take the bags when I go grocery shopping. I agree the reusable bags are stronger than the plastic bags.
kgtkgt kgtkgt 9 years
I think this is great. Every little bit can help the enviroment.
techkim techkim 9 years
I tend to use those "evil" pastic bag to seal up diapers (daycare). Other wise I would get cute material bags to use over and over.
emlod10 emlod10 9 years
amen! they weren't even useful in the first place
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
Just another reason I wish we had a Whole Foods here. Sigh. I wonder what first-time shoppers will do when they get to the counter and the cashier tells them they have to buy a bag to carry their groceries out with. I'd be pretty upset if I was blind-sided by that, so I hope they make it clear upon arrival at the store.
laurelm laurelm 9 years
I do think it is a good idea, I think stores should just charge for plastic bags, I bet alot less people would use them. I have 4 bags I love to use and hate it when I forget them!
krazykarot krazykarot 9 years
I don't shop at whole foods but I do love the idea. hopefully more of the small grocery stores will catch on and maybe eventually the larger mega stores someday. that last part might be wishful thinking though ;)
d9rlcb d9rlcb 9 years
that is awesome I wish every store would follow suit
em1282 em1282 9 years
"I like this idea but what will I use to pick up dog poop?" Hee! I agree. I re-use all of my plastic bags, to the point where they cannot be used again, whether it's for dog poop or anything else. I always bring in the paper bags to Whole Foods though.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
"the next step should be urban friendly composting initiatives so city dwellers will be able to trash less. (suburban dwellers should already be composting!)" Ultress I could not agree with you more! I have been thinking about this lately and wondering why there isn't a better job done.
haze1nut haze1nut 9 years
i actually have 2 whole foods bags that I bought from them, they're great bc they fold into a nice neat zip up pouch!! and it has a front pocket and it's soft and holds a TON of stuff. yeah, plastic bags are a waste and they tear easy! buy the more durable reusable cloth bags :)
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
tdamji - I worked in retail several years ago, and they always wanted us to put their purchased items in the bags with our store logo on it. I think they wanted the advertising (if people are carrying the bags around, it's sort of like an ad) and it shows other store employees that the item wasn't stolen. How retail stores feel about this probably varies from store to store though. mudnessa - thanks for the advice. I'll start using my re-usuable bags everywhere and stop worrying so much.
Liselola Liselola 9 years
I live in Belgium and every store makes you pay for bags since the beginning of 2007. It takes some getting used but it so much better for the environment! I just have reusable bags from my favourite market and when I go somewhere else with those bags, it really doesn't matter =)
Ultress Ultress 9 years
this is a great idea & all retailers should follow suit...but sometimes i put the reuseable bag away so i can get the plastic bags and use them as garbage bags (why buy them just to throw them out). the next step should be urban friendly composting initiatives so city dwellers will be able to trash less. (suburban dwellers should already be composting!)
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
things like this wont be a help unless it is made important everywhere
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
why don't more people bring backpacks? i have a pretty strong/large capacity one that looks small when it doesn't have much in it and my roommie brings his too and we never need to get plastic bags - oh, and if we know we need a lot we put tote bags in our backpacks. we are a good 20 minutes walk from the grocery store or take the bus if we have heavier things/decide to go to china town rather than little india (18 blocks away) or the local organic store (9 blocks away) which are both in walking distance. backpacks take up less room than many bags do. what pisses me off is that the stores that give discounts for bringing your own tote bags do not do so for backpacks (well, i haven't asked, actually). what's the deal? i am wondering what people do for other items - clothes, household things etc?!do you take tote bags for those things too? i pretty much always have my backpack with me since i am usually stopping somewhere after school.
magalaya magalaya 9 years
AbbyHintz, I was just going to say exactly what you did. I work in an organic grocery store in my city, and it's funny how everyone thinks that paper bags are "better". Well, yes, they can be recycled, but so can plastic, and to be honest, a lot of people I know who use plastic DO re-use their bags - they don't just simply throw them out! Also, like you mentioned, paper bags use a lot more energy, and another thing I noticed is that they are worn out more easily, therefore lessening the life of the bag overall and also reducing the amount of times you can reuse the bag. So overall, I say - go for plastic if you're willing to recycle and reuse it, but if you don't mind, just do cloth - it's stronger, lasts waaay longer, and holds more!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
The only thing that I wonder about this is whether they'll start offering smaller paper bags, because they don't make as much sense if you're getting only a couple of things. Good job Whole Foods though!
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