Free Reusable Bags at Whole Foods



Whole Foods Markets from New Jersey to Virginia began giving away one free reusable bag per customer yesterday to encourage shoppers to “BYOB” – Bring Your Own Bag.

Betterbag1sm The bag had already caught my eye, not only because it’s so cheerful and colorful, but also because it’s made from 80% post-consumer waste.  Plus, it’s got a washable surface and actually seems more ample inside than the standard paper grocery bag.

I asked Lillian Buie, marketing manager for the Whole Foods where I shop in Silver Spring, MD, what the give-away meant for the store’s use of paper and plastic bags.

As of Earth Day 2008 (April 22, 2008), we won’t be bagging food in plastic anymore,” she said.  Paper bags (made from 100% recycled paper, and totally recyclable) will remain an option for customers who don’t bring their own bags, and the store will still provide plastic for bagging produce, meats and fish. But plastic grocery bags will be gone.

Even if you miss the free giveaway, these bags are worth buying. At only 99 cents per bag, you can’t go wrong (I’ve already bought three). And every time you use them, you’ll get a 5 cents/per bag refund on your grocery bill. The bags will pay for themselves in no time.

Thumb_green_2 Thumbs up, Whole Foods.

MEMORY TIP: BTW, if you have trouble remembering to take reusable bags to the grocery store, try this: after you unpack your groceries, put all the bags inside a main bag, and put the main bag with your car keys. The next time you go to your car, take the bags and toss them in the back seat or the trunk. The bags won’t clutter a kitchen cupboard or closet, and you’ll always have reusable bags when you shop.

15 Responses to Free Reusable Bags at Whole Foods

  1. priya January 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    I am waiting for the day when the shops in the US start charging the 5 cents for providing bags! Now that move sure will get more people getting their own bags.

  2. Bag Monster January 23, 2008 at 4:45 pm #

    So I take it you don’t like single-use bags? What a bunch of Bag Monster Busters! There’s a blog for people who want to be entertained and informed about the bag crisis: http://www.BagMonsterBusters.com
    Nobody seems to want us around anymore… It’s hard being a Bag Monster in the Age of Bag Bans! I can’t even get a job because of convenient reusable ChicoBags.
    For a good laugh (at my expense), and the latest info on Bag Bans with an entertaining twist, go to my blog: http://www.BagMonster.com
    A blog illuminating one Bag Monster’s story of freedom and oppression…

  3. Michele Edelmuth January 28, 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    I was in Australia 2 years ago for a month and at the markets I visited you were charged for single-use bags. So I quickly purchased their reusable bags. These bags are durable and made of heavy fabric and have a flat bottom so that they stand up while you pack your food. Back in the USA I finally found a place that sells an almost identical bag – the website is: http://www.gethipgetgreen.com. These bags cost a little more but they will last longer than the flimsy bag I purchased at one of our local markets. I keep my bags in the back of my car so they are always available. Michele

  4. Robin January 30, 2008 at 7:52 am #

    I have been using my own basket (for heavy things like cans) and net and canvas bags for about a year and I love it – it makes so much more sense! But what peeves me the most are cashiers and baggers who freeze when I ask them to use my bags instead of the store’s plastic bags. I even caught one bagger putting the groceries into plastic bags and then putting the pastic bags into my bags! And this store sells their own branded, reusable bags…

  5. M Page January 30, 2008 at 9:08 am #

    I just read that paper doesn’t bio-degrade in land fills any faster than plastic so if it isn’t re-used and re-cycled it does not matter. My thought is:what about all those plastic produce bags!?? Why isn’t anyone talking about them?

  6. Diane MacEachern February 9, 2008 at 4:40 am #

    Good point on the plastic produce bags. I have a couple of small mesh bags for exactly that purpose. The marketing director at my Whole Foods told me they’re going to start selling reusable mesh bags sometime soon.

  7. Rajiv Badlani July 2, 2008 at 3:56 am #

    Fascinating, specially the bit about 80% post consumer waste. I manufacture bags but have not come across any such fabric and would love to know about it and its antecedents.
    Please share whatever information you can about this with me.
    My thanks and regards, Rajiv

  8. Barbara Ambriscoe August 27, 2008 at 8:52 pm #

    I Been Looking High & Low For Those Reusable Mesh
    Grocery Bags(Red Color)To Giveaway At A fIRE Show &
    Muster Event, Our 37th Year, All Proceeds Benefit
    Handicap Children,Camp Happiness Located In Milford
    CT. IF We Had Those Reusable Mesh Grocery Bags,I Would Advertise Showing Many People ,plastic bags
    are out,And There’s A New Bag In Town ,Better For
    Our Community,Better For Our Enivronment,Let’s Clean Up America.

  9. Diane MacEachern August 28, 2008 at 6:00 am #

    My best suggestion is to check out the options at http://www.reusablebags.com. Good luck!

  10. cathy July 13, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    I don’t live near a Whole Foods, but would like to purchase one of these bags. Would you, or anyone out there be willing to purchase 2-3 for me – I would pay you for them – and send them to me?

  11. EcoTrend Bags September 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    The Earth has been facing immense pollution from our garbage and consumption. The latest deadly pollution is plastic bags that fill up the landfills. With plastic bags becoming a growing concern, cotton canvas bag has become the new way to help stop the pollution.
    With plastic bag pollution being a rising concern, many shoppers need to start using reusable cotton canvas bags in order to stop the pollution.
    Plastic bag pollution is very deadly and takes hundreds of years to break down. Even if the component is broken done, the deadly chemicals will go into the ground and water system. By reducing the usage of plastic bag, Earth can recuperate. That’s why cotton bags should be used world wide to help reduce the pollution.
    It is our generation to stop the pollution and start using cotton canvas bags as the solution. With global warming going out of hand from gas exhaustion, we don’t need any more problems especially plastic bags that are harmful when broken down naturally. These broken down elements cause sickness and destruction to the air, soil and water system.
    Use cotton canvas bags starting today as a way to stop the plastic pollution that is becoming a major threat to the environment. Our lives are threatened ever more from the growing usage of plastic bags. It is time you bring a canvas bag to shopping the next time you go to a supermarket.
    Please learn more at http://www.ecotrendbags.com/

  12. Canvas Bags May 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    I have a couple of small mesh bags for exactly that purpose. The marketing director at my Whole Foods told me they’re going to start selling reusable mesh bags sometime soon.

  13. Calico bags May 7, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    it makes so much more sense! But what peeves me the most are cashiers and baggers who freeze when I ask them to use my bags instead of the store’s plastic bags.These broken down elements cause sickness and destruction to the air, soil and water system.

  14. Leawood bootcamp September 16, 2011 at 4:00 am #

    Good to see that Reusable Bags at Whole Foods,i have 2 or three Reusable Bags right now.

  15. melbourne kickboxing December 23, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Hi all,
    My best suggestion is to check out the options at http://www.reusablebags.com. Good luck!!!

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