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November 14, 2008

AUDIO CLIP: Dirty plastic bags

npr,  11.14.08Npr

Our founder, Vincent Cobb, joins Ashkay Rao, program director and professor at University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, to discuss why not all reusable bags are created equal.

“[The 99-cent reusable shopping bag phenomenon] has become a marketing gimmick du jour, big time. It’s an advertisement for the retailer, so they’re very incented to get them out there. If they just sit and accumulate in a closet and you go back to taking plastic bags, then yeah, you have done a net negative.”

Listen to the interview

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A good quality reusable tote is a much better option than those cheaply constructed .99 cent store bags. Why not show your style, rather than pay to be a walking advertisement? www.sewcreativebysara.etsy.com

I LOVE the last bit about the mechanical grocery scenario where the cashier and the customer robotically go about the transaction.

I've paid more and more attention to this over the last few years and it's astounding how many people follow this act without ANY consideration (they look like zombies, unable to bag their own items, or even pay attention to the person who decides that there should be only 2 items per bag). What's more, I've seen people request a bag just to carry the one bar of soap they purchased which is already encased in waxed cardboard.

It's unbelievable how hard it is to educate people about the importance of this simple act. A friend would carry "reusable" bags in her car but would totally forget to take them into the store with her. Her perfectly good and well-intended bags sat in the trunk of her car while she loaded it with more disposable plastic bags. Her home is filled with them. I don't know how to express to her the reward of breaking that robotic cycle at the store, how fun it is to bust out your Chico bag and say "No thanks, I brought my own."

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