Paper or Plastic?

My hair stylist was born in the U.S. to Serbian parents who returned to Serbia when he was a toddler.  When he was 20, he decided that Serbia wasn't the place to try to build a life (remember Yugoslavia?).  So he headed back to the U.S. to claim his American citizenship before he turned 21 and was no longer eligible.

On one of my recent trips to have him work his magic, the conversation turned to several cities that now charge 5¢ for each shopping bag.  Grocery stores were understandable since most grocery stores give a 5¢ or 10¢ per bag refund for each reusable bag.  Lots of people are now filling their reusable bags with boxes of cereal, rolls of toilet paper, and gallons of milk.  But what about department stores?  Would they charge for a shopping bag?

Neither of us knew the answer.  But it brought up a discussion of how they did things in Serbia.  Every family kept their cloth bags on the back of the door.  On the way out of the house, they would grab a few bags and use them everywhere they shopped.  Everywhere.  Grocery store, shoe store, hardware store. 

On my next shoe shopping trip, if I were to ask the shoe store for a bag refund, I wonder if they'd go for it.  And I wonder if it would catch on with other folks.


  1. Yupper..the time we spent in Europe, probably 3 to 4 really, years, we took out own bags. But the department stores supplied nice paper bags to us. Pretty ones many times. I saved them for wrapping paper.

  2. I always, always use my little cloth bags, but I found some really good ones recently in Kroger. Not their bags. These were hanging at the end of an aisle and looked like this: little pouches made of sturdy nylon/poly, that had little handles and little snaps. When you undo the snap, you pull out this nylon/poly bag that is much bigger than the regular grocery bag and is strong as the devil. I bought 4 and clip them together and hang them in the back of my car on those back of the seat hooks. Perfect. AND, they come in all sorts of patterns or solids. Mine are silver and white to go with my silver Rav. Yeah, so girlie, lol. Anyway, I use them for regular shopping now, too, since they fold right up and into my pocketbook. Can't ask for more.