Since last we discussed the evils of plastic (or paper) grocery bags, I’ve seen a growing number of people toting their own bags to the grocery store.
Maybe its due to the proliferation of reusable bags around the Publix check out or Whole Foods complete eradication of the plastic bag, or maybe its just that people in the U.S. don’t want to be shown up by China. But whatever it is, reusable bags are seeing an upsurge like never before.
But what about the DeKalb Farmer’s Market? That Georgia-famous warehouse of chaos where one can purchase an endless variety of quality fruits/veggies/meats/spices/alcohol at a discount price (as long as you’re willing to give and take a few elbows to the face)?
We’ll, according to Deryck, its a little behind the times…
…When I entered with bags in the cart, I was told that it would be necessary to check them at the information counter. They provided a plastic numbered card. That’s easy. But wait!, you cannot retrieve your bag, an employee must do this for you when you checkout. The cashier must shout out “bag check” to get the person who eventually arrives and then gets your bag.
Meanwhile you have a lot of angry people behind you wondering why the cashier cannot complete your transaction. This slows down the process, aggravates you, the cashier and those waiting in line. They’re all usually nice folks I might add. This procedure is extremely inefficient and creates a very unpleasant shopping experience for all parties including the staff. It gives one the impression that conservation is just too damn difficult to be worthwhile. Why not place the bag retrieving person(s) at the exit doors to check the receipts of those leaving with their own bags?
On the flip side…My wife says that she has taken her bags into the store with her and not been stopped. But maybe she just got lucky.
Regardless, Deryck is right. The current setup obviously dissuades the use of reusable bags. It’s much worse than being glared at by angry baggers (barely any of that at Publix anymore BTW). Angering other shoppers is, in many ways, an even a bigger deterrent.
For an organization with such a large recycle center on site, DFM should make reusable bags easy to use. This might require a change to the way things have always been done in the past, either with a Costco-style receipt checker or designated types of bags that can be taken into the store…just thinking out loud here.
Ultimately, it goes without saying that if reusable bags continue to increase in popularity, the Farmer’s Market is going to need to alter its current “check your bags at the door” policy in order to retain a significant contingent of customers that don’t want to take home 3 dozen plastic bags.