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May 19, 2008

Not the end of the bag story

reusablebgs.jpgI'm still getting e-mails about my reusable bag story Sunday. No, not ones saying you stupid tree hugger or, conversely, what a wonderful story; but e-mails that have actual information in them, my favorite kind.

Here's a sampling.

From Alice K.:

At the very end of your article they mentioned asking for a rebate when you brought your own bag but the store said they never heard of that.  I normally shop at Super Fresh and recently (maybe 2 months ago) I noticed that I got $.02 cents for bag I used.  Then I shopped at Giant and they gave $.03 cents for each bag.  About 3 weeks ago, I noticed that it went up to $.05 cents at Giant.  I asked them when that started and they told me it was raised that week.

When I first purchased my bags many months ago, I frequently forgot to take them into the store with me but since the rebates started, I bring them in every time.  I am not sure why the stores have not been advertising this perk because I know I am not the only one who appreciates it. 

Anyway, I thought I would bring the readers up to speed on the rebate issue.

From Ruth Alan:

Your story is featured today on stuff...daily good news! 

From Mr. Old Fart: ...

BottleCarrier.jpgRelative to your article on reusable bags, enclosed is a picture of something I got while in Germany many years ago. It is the beverage equivalent of reusable bags. As you can see it was made to hold six one liter bottles (2 liter soda bottles did not exist back then) and allow them to be carried home without clanking or breaking. I haven't seen anything like it here, but it is still useful.

From Dennis in Howard County:

I wanted to share with you something we face in Harford County. My wife and I use our own bags at the store and recycle our paper, plastic, etc. In Harford County private contractors pick up both your trash and recyclables. The major contractor, and ours, in Harford County, is Harford Sanitation. They require your recyclables to be in blue or clear plastic bags??

We inquired if we could just put them in a separate container (like a blue trash can designated for recyclables) but they said no, they must be in plastic bags.

Do other counties face this problem?  It appears this helps to defeat the purpose of carrying your own bags into the grocery store since we have to obtain plastic bags in order to set out our recyclables.

I thought I would share this information with you in hopes that you may have a solution or other information.

From Molly K.:

Whole Foods Market has been encouraging customers to bring their own bags (BYOB) for quite some time. We give customers 5 cents for each bag brought to the store to be used for their groceries. It doesn't matter if the bag is from another store. On Earth Day last month, Whole Foods Markets gave away thousands of reusable fabric bags to encourage customers to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag).

We in the Mt Washington store were excited to have had, and sold out of, an exclusively designed reusable bag for Whole Foods Market by Lauren Bush, to benefit the FEED organization and UN World Food Program. Each bag purchased provides 100 nutritious school meals for hungry children in Rwanda. Made from 100% organic cotton and sustainable burlap they retail for $29.99. We should be getting more of them soon.

(Bag photo by Kim Hairston/Sun photographer; bottle carrier photo courtesy of Mr. Old Fart)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 9:53 PM | | Comments (5)


I had noticed the increased rebate at the Giant but wondered if I had forgotten the right amount, as I didn't see any promotion of this. The checkers are also getting better at remembering to credit you at the end (I used to have to ask quite often). I am glad to hear about the rebate at Whole Foods as well.

Howard County used to require the special bags for recycling, but has now gone to a "blue bin" system where we can put everything recyclable into the one bin without bagging. We still have to cut corrugated cardboard boxes into two-foot-square pieces.

For those who shop at MOM's they give the best discount around for bringing in your own reusable bags- a full 10 cents per canvas bag. You get 5 cents for bringing in your own paper bags. The first time you go they will also give you a free tote if you mention it's your first visit.

Weis sells really nice bags for 99 cents each that don't have a store logo. They're a grass green color and say "The Earth Thanks You" on the sides. Out of my melange of bags these are my most favorite!

MOM????? (Okay, so I'm stupid.)

Sorry RTSO (and anyone else I managed to confuse)

MOM's is the acronym for My Organic Market, which has a few locations in Maryland and NoVa. (The closest to Baltimore being the Jessup/Columbia location on the corners of Rte 1 and Rte 175) It's a great little natural foods store-- fair prices, fresh produce, genuinely happy employees, and stellar customer service.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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