how do you not use or re-use produce bags? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 46 Old 06-08-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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OK, you all officially encouraged me to get some mesh bags. We have nothing in the way of stores around here, so I got some on amazon. Thanks for the idea! 


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#32 of 46 Old 06-09-2012, 05:49 PM
 
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I got a set of 4 mesh, drawstring bags at the dollar store.  They were meant for corralling stuff in the car, but they are exactly the same size as the plastic produce bags at my grocery store.

 

My grandmother used to reuse EVERY plastic bag that crossed her path.  Bread bags were used again to hold sandwiches in Grandpa's lunch (she closed them with a recycled twist tie), and somewhere along the line she decided that the plastic bag her newspaper was delivered in was the perfect size to take to the grocery store to hold her romaine lettuce.  That used to freak me out a bit, because of the ink, but she lived well into her 80's, so I guess it was fine.  When she came to visit, she always had a giant tote bag (you know those woven plastic ones most people take to the beach?) full of the food from her fridge.  She didn't like to leave food in the fridge when she was going to be gone.  All that food was wrapped up in old bread bags and newspaper baggies.  HEAVEN HELP the person who threw one away!  They had to be washed out and dried on chopsticks and reused!  My grandpa put his foot down when she tried to repair torn baggies with scotch tape.  

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#33 of 46 Old 06-11-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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We take the plastic produce bags from the store.

 

If they are yucky after use (like lettuce got slimy) or torn, they get stuffed into our bag of recyclable plastic bags.  Our supermarket has a bin outside that accepts produce bags as well as the shopping bags.

 

If they are clean and intact, we reuse them.  We just tuck them into one of our big canvas shopping bags, and then when shopping for produce we dig in the canvas bags to find produce bags, taking new ones only if we don't have any old ones with us.

 

The store where we buy bulk foods allows you to use your own container; you weigh it and write its weight on the label, and then they subtract that from the total weight so that you pay only for your food.  We use jars, etc., that other foods came in.  So we take bags for bulk foods only if there's an awesome sale that we didn't know about so we don't have enough containers for it.


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#34 of 46 Old 06-12-2012, 08:43 AM
 
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I know this is not exactly a response to how to reuse those plastic bags, but if you are able to just forget them all together, then here is a link to a cool idea...

 

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/Make-Reusable-Produce-Bags.aspx

 

Also, I work at a food co-op, and we carry reusable produce bags in various sizes made  by mothering Mother. You can order them online, or see if your local co-op or grocer could get them in the store.

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#35 of 46 Old 06-12-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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I put most produce like apples in my cart without bags. I usually use the self check out so it doesn't matter. If the bags don't get torn I use them for doggy doo doo bags. That bugs me too. Doggy doo doo (or baby poop) doen't belong in our trash in plastic bags. When I had my own house I would flush my little dog's and cat's doo doo. I scooped it into a little bucket and put in the toilet. The cat litter pan was next to the toilet with pine litter and as soon as I smelled that the cat went I would flush it. There was never kitty doo doo in the pan. Back 30 years ago we were told to try and get baby poop out of disposable diapers and flush it away. Now I hear concern about the diapers problem (not often enoug) but not so much about all the poop. Imagine how much dog doo doo is in the trash. It would be better to leave it on the ground (somewhere out of the way of people) to decompose. Oh well, off topic.


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#36 of 46 Old 06-12-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2010/how-tuesday-how-to-make-plarn-crochet-an-eco-friendly-tote-b/

 

i think that's a cool idea.


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#37 of 46 Old 06-12-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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I always keep the mesh bags that pre-bagged produce items sometimes come in, like lemons and oranges. I have so many of them collected over the years and people often ask me where I got them , which is funny to me. They assume I purchased them somewhere as opposed to reusing the bags that are normally thrown away. I like the bags better than plastic because they don't tear as easily and are breathable. Also when loading produce on a conveyor, I strategically place items so that things like lettuce don't touch the belt. Also I triple rinse the lettuce in a big bowl after washing once with super duper diluted soap:)
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#38 of 46 Old 06-14-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

with our states retail laws there is no way you can do here, it's your personal bag and that is the same as putting it into a purse, doesn't matter if you plan to pay for it or not

 

I would still try the mesh bag. If you put the veggies ~in the see-through bag~ on the belt then it is beyond obvious that you want to BUY them. If they try to call the cops so be it, just calmly explain that you are trying to reduce, reuse, etc....and if they still make a stink then call your local press and make a big deal out of it. Hell, maybe you'll start a wave of action and those mesh bags will become at least acceptable if not downright trendy!

 

As for bacteria and hygiene, a great trick is to bathe all your produce in a vinegar wash. I use the cheapest vinegar available and fill a big mixing bowl with water and a few splashes of vinegar and set the produce in it for about 10 minutes then rinse. No taste of vinegar remains. It removes about 99% of bacteria, some pesticide residue and kills any mold spores ~meaning volatile fruit like peaches and berries stay fresh way longer. Woohoo!


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#39 of 46 Old 06-14-2012, 06:43 PM
 
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Quote:

I would still try the mesh bag. If you put the veggies ~in the see-through bag~ on the belt then it is beyond obvious that you want to BUY them. If they try to call the cops so be it, just calmly explain that you are trying to reduce, reuse, etc....and if they still make a stink then call your local press and make a big deal out of it. Hell, maybe you'll start a wave of action and those mesh bags will become at least acceptable if not downright trendy!

 

I understand what you are saying but you can't- it's illegal and it's viewed as concealment- plain and simple- if they allowed it for fruits and veggies you could argue you should be able to do it for meats-and it would not work.

 

SInce so much meat is taken (I worked in my state and my neighboring state in theft prevention so I know the issue and the laws-they are the same in both)-it is a real big deal- thus clear bags all over. You may have all the good intentions you want but they will not change the law over this-it would be a hugh can of worms. You often see grocery store retail theft in our papers. Concealment is very real and they don't take kindly to it.

 

IF you place ANY item in your own bag/container-even if you can see it, it is still concealment- you can be stopped and charged-their argument is you are being provided with a bag-ONCE you pay that is different-not prior.

 

I don't buy produce at a mainstream market, I was talking about mainstream markets- smaller places frankly are worse on the issue in my area- even at the FM you don't dare put items into your own bag until you paid for them.

 

 

It really doesn't matter if you PLAN to pay or not- no one else knows that for sure- any bag, etc that is your or not provided by the store and you can't use the check-out bags either, is not something you want to do. Clear bags are not just to a make it easy to scan the stuff. When you place prior to payment it is viewed a concealing. 

In my state they take retail theft as a big deal- they jail you (depending on the area) if it's even $100.00 -this state is really crazy about it

 

if it works in your state great-just don't try in in all states

 

   Presumptions. Any person purposely concealing unpurchased merchandise of any store or other retail mercantile establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of such store or other retail mercantile establishment, shall be prima facie presumed to have so concealed such merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof, and the finding of such merchandise concealed upon the person or among the belongings of such person shall be prima facie evidence of purposeful concealment; and if such person conceals, or causes to be concealed, such merchandise upon the person or among the belongings of another, the finding of the same shall also be prima facie evidence of willful concealment on the part of the person so concealing such merchandise.


 

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#40 of 46 Old 06-16-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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No matter what state you are in, no matter what the law says - white middle-class hippie folk who are regulars at the store will not be harassed, and if they are, the manager will apologize. 

 

Non-white, or poor, or non-familiar shoppers run a much greater risk of being harassed if they use their own bags. 

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#41 of 46 Old 06-16-2012, 04:35 PM
 
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i wonder if this counts when people eat fruit before paying for it. when i worked at a grocery store, people frequently brought the banana peel for me to weigh! that is stealing! occasionally they would have me weigh a whole banana in it's place but that was rare. if you pay by weight, but eat part of it(concealing it in your body lol) before weighing, that is wrong.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

   Presumptions. Any person purposely concealing unpurchased merchandise of any store or other retail mercantile establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of such store or other retail mercantile establishment, shall be prima facie presumed to have so concealed such merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof, and the finding of such merchandise concealed upon the person or among the belongings of such person shall be prima facie evidence of purposeful concealment; and if such person conceals, or causes to be concealed, such merchandise upon the person or among the belongings of another, the finding of the same shall also be prima facie evidence of willful concealment on the part of the person so concealing such merchandise.


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#42 of 46 Old 06-16-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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Quote:

i wonder if this counts when people eat fruit before paying for it. when i worked at a grocery store, people frequently brought the banana peel for me to weigh! that is stealing! occasionally they would have me weigh a whole banana in it's place but that was rare. if you pay by weight, but eat part of it(concealing it in your body lol) before weighing, that is wrong.

 

 

 

Quote:
Non-white, or poor, or non-familiar shoppers run a much greater risk of being harassed if they use their own bags

 

 

 

 

I sometimes go to a WF an hour away- it's like night and day what I see people getting away with--not in my area-I have seen store employees go up to people with food (even for their children) and they do have to pay!

I have seen people give whole muffins to their children at WF and nothing is said to them and they don't offer to pay (and I'm sure they didn't pay up front!) I was behind one of these mothers one time- that would not fly in my area


 

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#43 of 46 Old 06-20-2012, 01:11 AM
 
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I have some meshies but not enough and also they are not very sturdy, they are getting destroyed after a couple of years of not-heavy use.  I mostly reuse the plastic ones as others have said.


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#44 of 46 Old 06-20-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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I reuse them as garbage bags when I chop my veggies up. Or I line my garbage bowl. They are pretty useless! Thanks for the mesh bag idea!

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#45 of 46 Old 06-24-2012, 12:45 PM
 
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I volunteer at our food co-op and one of my jobs is bagging groceries. I have seen every possible combination here. The mesh bags are great. Some people save the plastic bag that cereal comes in inside the box and reuse that. Folks have cheese cloth and nylon bags that are designed as produce bags. Most people just skip the bags for a lot of produce, but every now and then you'll get someone who bags every single item in a plastic produce bag — down to a single cucumber or orange. We have small brown paper bags (like lunch sacks) available as well as the plastic film bags. For things that aren't wet the paper bags work great. For things like mushrooms and peaches that need to breathe they're preferable.

 

Personally, I avoid using the plastic produce bags, but occasionally if the lettuce is really wet or something I'll take one. Sometimes I put meat in it if the package looks suspect. I re-use them at home a lot. I just wash them and put them in the dish drainer to dry. I might put them over a glass or something. Occasionally I hang them outside on the line. If they're not very dirty I'll just skip the washing. I use paper a lot for the bulk items like flour and grits and oatmeal. 

 

I have always meant to make one of those stick plastic bag dryers (http://www.gaiam.com/product/countertop+bag+dryer.do?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&extcmp=cse_froogle&cvsfa=3728&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=30362d30303037) out of Tinker Toys or Fiddlesticks, but have never gotten around to it, so they just end up drying over something in the dish drainer or hung on the line.

 

Another of my jobs is recycling. I'm the person who takes all the plastic grocery bags into the back to be recycled. In our county we do accept all plastic grocery type bags, the produce bags, ziplocks w/ the zip removed, bubble wrap, saran type wrap, etc. It can all get recycled together. 


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#46 of 46 Old 06-24-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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I bought several re-usable mesh and cotton produce bags and bring them with me when I shop. I have enough for storage in the fridge and enough for shopping. The only time i may use a plastic bag is for very wet greens.

 

I go to various markets and none have an issue with putting items in re-usable bags as you shop around. 


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