Food for thought… When was the last time you thought about shopping bags?

In California, plastic shopping bags will cost you ten cents each at Walmart. This encouraged us (and others) to reuse our (recycled material) plastic bags rather than throw away and purchase more bags each time we shopped. It’s also not uncommon here to see people carry out an armload of items without a bag.

The Walmart stores in Oregon only offer paper sacks (like the old days) because plastic is banned (unless folks like us bring our own). There is also a fee for each paper sack, but I’m not sure how much because we reused our plastic bags.

The message here is not about the cost of the bags because we can afford an extra fifty or ninety cents added to our grocery bill. The thought is about recycling and the effect we have on our environment.

It’s been nine months since we last shopped in Missouri and at that time we weren’t paying for bags or regulated to paper only. I just remembered that many people had started using reusable grocery tote bags and while I had some of those bags, I never seemed to remember to use them. Maybe if Missouri stores would have charged a bag fee, I would have remembered to bring my totes to the store.

Do you remember a time where the cashier or bagger would ask “paper or plastic?”. Funny how things change and sometimes we learn the hard way. Plastic seemed like a really great idea and now we know it wasn’t.

So, will you be thinking about reusing your bags the next time you go shopping? I hope so.

Happy recycling,



2 Replies to “Paper or Plastic?”

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