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Bag credits?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if any of you get bag credits at your stores? it was common in many of the stored where I am from in Michigan and where my sister lives in Colorado it is also common. They give you 5c or so per reusable bag that you bring and use.

They don't do it anywhere around here though. I decided to chat with the manager of Safeway about it, especially since they are selling reusable bags near he counters. The assistant manager was not happy to see me. She did not want to listen to my request at all (again I do not understand this, it is not a personal question like I went to her front door, what has happened to customer service, at least just humor the crazy hippie lady and smile and pretend to care right). So I called her on it and said "I'm sorry you don't seem interested, what's the problem?" and she says "Well we already do plastic bag recycling here so I don't see the point". So I strove to explain clearer how it helps save them money on plastic bags, nay even make more money since many people would buy the Safeway reusable bags for 99c each, it helps the environment, and it makes the customer feel good because they get to save a few pennies. Well, she was clearly unreasonable, so I wrote a big letter to the manager about it and got no response. Guess what? No more Safeway. Their prices were MUCH higher and I used to shop there because of the good customer service, but now that they don't care about keeping a customer or providing good customer service I'm done. I wrote another letter to let the manager know this, but I should have saved the paper because- no response. Sigh.

Has anyone had any luck trying to get this started at one of their grocery stores?
post #2 of 32
How disappointing. Have you considered going up the chain to their regional manager? I'm sure somebody higher up in the company might be interested to hear about bag credits and also interested to hear that apathetic local management is losing customers.

I think our more mainstream stores (Kroger, Food Lion) and the big box stores like Target don't offer credits, but a big local chain, where I like to shop, does. Our local organic market does, of course.
post #3 of 32
Only one store here offers a bag credit. All the rest sell their own cloth bags, but don't fuss if you bring your own cloth instead.
post #4 of 32
Some of our stores do offer a bag credit and others don't. I haven't kept up on which is which, though. I just toss my bags up there and let them figure it out. LOL

Personally, I am more in favor of Ikea's approach. If you want a bag, you pay for it... Disposables are less than 10 cents (4 or 5???) and Reusables are higher ($1-2???). I've never needed a bag there, so I don't know the exact prices. I bring my own cloth/canvas bags everywhere.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
Some of our stores do offer a bag credit and others don't. I haven't kept up on which is which, though. I just toss my bags up there and let them figure it out. LOL

Personally, I am more in favor of Ikea's approach. If you want a bag, you pay for it... Disposables are less than 10 cents (4 or 5???) and Reusables are higher ($1-2???). I've never needed a bag there, so I don't know the exact prices. I bring my own cloth/canvas bags everywhere.
Aldi does that too- you have to bring your own bags. I am thinking that since I see everyone carting their own bags into this new store, people who would never otherwise consider it (in my biased estimation), that it might become more accepted in my smallish community at other stores or in general. Aldi also makes you put in a quarter to get a grocery cart in order to keep their parking lots clear of cart clutter, it works. Their store is very neat and clean, no carts or bags in the parking lots.
post #6 of 32
The Safeway here offers a bag credit. I'd really take it higher up and let them know that the manager that you spoke with was not the slightest bit interested in discussing the matter with you. That is just poor customer service, period.

Whole Foods offers a bag credit, Trader Joes does not (although they do offer a raffle ticket).
post #7 of 32
In my area, we have four that offer credits. There may be more, but these are the ones I know of:
Weiss - $0.3 cents
Whole Foods - $0.5 cents
Redners - $0.5 cents
Genaurdi's (a Safeway company) - $0.5 cents.
post #8 of 32
Farm Fresh and Kroger give 5 cents per reusable bag. Save-a-lot gives nothing, but makes you buy plastic bags if you don't bring your own. Of course I see a lot of people just reusing plastic bags, but that's still better than getting new ones.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
You're right, I think I will take it up the a regional manager or something- I ain't got no job... heehee- you haven't heard the last from me!
post #10 of 32
All the stores near me supposedly offer bag credits, but the cashiers forget to issue them most of the time.

Honestly, it's not that big of a deal. I'm not going to use my cloth bags just to save 50 cents on a huge grocery order- I do it because its' better for the environment and its' become more convenient for me. If the cashier remembers to give me the credit, that's great, but if he or she forgets, I won't remind him or her. And anyway, I only get credit for the number of cloth bags acutally used, not for the number of plastic bags I've saved. Each canvas bag probably saves 3-4 plastic ones, because they're bigger and stronger.

IMO, charging for disposable bags would be a lot more effective at getting others to reuse bags, but the bag credit is probably easier to implement for a store that already gives out "free" bags.
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Oh sure, it would only save you maybe 20 cents or something per visit, it isn't a huge savings or anything its more in the principal of the thing in my mind. If it helps it become more accepted and gives people incentive to use their own bags then they should do it. I am fanatical about saving money too though, so that's another reason why this strikes a chord with me. "What, you mean you're getting paid to use your bags and I'm not? The universe must surely be out of whack!"
post #12 of 32
Our local Stop and Shop just started giving 5 cents for each you bring from home. :
post #13 of 32
I was at Trader Joe's today and they give you a raffle ticket if you bring your own bags. I didn't catch what the raffle is for, though. LOL

I also did our finances today and paid attention to the food receipts more closely than usual. Henry's gives 5 cents per bag and so did Vons, but both tend to forget.
post #14 of 32
Safeway does it here (the bag credit). But Albertsons!!! I looked at my receipt and there was none, so I said: Has the bag credit been phased out? And I get the reply of: We only give it to the people who ask....

Well, I am going to ask... Considering how often we shop there is at least a latte a year savings right there, hehehehehe

Which reminds me that I am seriously undercaffeinated today... different story.
post #15 of 32
The Fred Meyer stores I shop at (owned by Kroger, I believe) gives 5 cents per bag.
post #16 of 32
We get a $.05 credit at the stores and a cookie at the co-op (woohoo!! they are some yummy cookie).

it was real hassle as a cashier.

as for the customer service. talk to the store manager. Don't settle for an assistant manager. and even if you decide to drop the whole bag thing be sure to report how badly you were treated. Written complaints were taken very seriously at our store.
post #17 of 32
Hmmmm... I'm in a very crunchy town but there are no "credits". Every store sells reusable bags, none of them care if you use a different reusable bag, and every store has a "plastic bag recycling bin". But you don't "get" anything extra for returning plastic bags or bringing your own.

Actually, my favorite "store brand" reusables came from our Home Depot... the bags have "latches" that hook onto a shopping cart and hold the bag open. DD1 loves droping stuff inside as we shop and the check out people really appreciate it too.

I know IKEA charges for their plastic bags...
post #18 of 32
So far every grocery store I go in offers bag credits, one of them has never forgotten to punch them in, one has never remembered and the other (safeway) is not visited often but always has. If the cashier forgets I don't bother mentioning it because I figure that even if their was the credit I would still want to use cloth bags.

I love to hear the some places make you buy their bags (even plastic). That would really get people thinking about reusing. I think that it should become a law . . . well maybe that is too extreme but still I think that it is a very good thing.
post #19 of 32
The only regular grocery store I shop at in my town is a Kroger, but they've started giving 3c per bag. I don't know about the others though.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
I was at Trader Joe's today and they give you a raffle ticket if you bring your own bags. I didn't catch what the raffle is for, though. LOL

I also did our finances today and paid attention to the food receipts more closely than usual. Henry's gives 5 cents per bag and so did Vons, but both tend to forget.
At my local Trader Joes it's a monthly raffle for a $25 gift certificate. Definatly better then a handful of nickels (if I ever win it!)
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