business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Sacramento Bee has a primer on the use of cloth, reusable shopping bags, noting that “using the bags is a good start … but not if you just buy them on a whim or out of guilt -- and then don't use them.”

The Bee writes, “Several stores are trying to help with that by offering shoppers nifty incentives.

“For instance, customers at Trader Joe's who use any reusable bag -- not just those sold by the store -- are entered into monthly lotteries for free groceries, and Whole Foods gives customers a refund -- which can be donated to charity -- for every recyclable bag used on a shopping trip.”

KC's View:
Two other suggestions that can increase the use of non-disposable bags.

One is to give cashiers an incentive for encouraging shoppers to use the bags. At Stew Leonard’s, for example, people whop use cloth bags are entered into a lottery for a cash reward …and the checkout person who dealt with the winning customer gets an equivalent cash reward.

Another is to do what I’m told Wegmans has done – put signs in the parking lot that remind people not to leave their reusable bags in the car.

Everybody wins.