No more ‘Paper or plastic?’ – at least for a while
By Kery Murakami
It has become as familiar a part of being in the checkout line at the grocery as the long lines or the scantily clad celebrities on the magazines.
“Paper or plastic?”
But apparently that question – which seemed to carry global consequences and a slight fear of being judged when you just stopped by the pick up some milk for the cereal in the morning – is going away at Albertsons and several groceries around Seattle, at least for a couple of months.
Shoppers will now be asked, “Did you bring your reusable bag today?
It seems to bring a bit of judgment. The answer is supposed to be “Of course. I want my children to enjoy the environment.”
And indeed, the change is part of a campaign to encourage shoppers to choose reusable bags.
According to a news release from Mayor Greg Nickels, Seattle Public Utilities and grocery and retail stores participating in the “Choose Reusable” promotion will donate more than 50,000 reusable shopping bags to low-income families through local food banks.
During May and June, shoppers at participating local stores will see signs reminding them to shop with reusable bags, and store clerks will ask, “Did you bring your reusable bags today?” – instead of “Paper or plastic?” The “Choose Reusable” campaign also will be promoted in store advertising over the next four to six weeks. Discounts and coupons for reusable shopping bags will be included in Seattle Public Utilities’ Curb Waste and Conserve publication, mailed to city residents in June.
Among the local business and environmental organizations taking part in the campaign: Albertsons, AmazonFresh.com, Bartell Drugs, Cartridge World Seattle, ChicoBag, Fred Meyer, Hilltop Red Apple, J.C. Penney, Kress IGA Supermarket, Madison Market, Magnolia Thriftway, Metropolitan Market, PCC Natural Markets, Promenade Red Apple, QFC, Safeway, Seattle Lighting, Shoreline Central Market, Supervalu, Target, Town & Country Ballard Market, Town & Country Greenwood Market, Tucker Bags, Unified Grocers, Uwajimaya, Village Market Thriftway, Wal-Mart and West Seattle Thriftway.
Those grocers and retailers will promote reusable bags in their stores, help provide reusable bags to low-income communities, display signs reminding customers to bring reusable bags, and make reusable bags
visible and available to buy.
“Both paper and plastic disposable bags harm our environment, and every year, residents in Seattle throw out 360 million of them. That’s imply unsustainable,” Nickels said in the release. “Bringing your own bag is an easy way to make a big impact. This campaign will help shoppers with the toughest part: remembering to bring your reusable bags to the store.”