Make up your mind, stores: Use a plastic bag or don’t
Retailers brainstorm on new alternatives for plastic bags
If you’ve been inside an essential retail store in the past five months (instead of ordering online), then you already know that grocers are sending mixed messages when it comes to plastic bags. Whole Foods Market and Target stopped issuing their $0.10-off and $0.05-off discounts for bringing your own bags (BYOB) at checkout. In Chicago’s Roger’s Park neighborhood (and possibly more), the Whole Foods location was so strict about not bringing in plastic bags that security would make people leave any plastic bags near the front entrance doors to collect when consumers exited.
This was a noticeable business redirection from their more eco-friendly options in years’ prior, encouraging consumers to not use one-use plastic bags. Both store chains mentioned above, along with other retailers, even sold reusable bags at the front registers.
As of March 2020 and beyond, consumers were required to use stores’ onetime use bags because of the worldwide coronavirus health outbreak. Although the United States has passed the 4 million mark in coronavirus infections and almost 144K deaths as of this publication date, retailers are back at it again and trying to find ways to decrease onetime-use plastic bags. They’re also allowing the money-off discounts again while they figure out new bag alternatives.