As the week went on we were out and about browsing in the boutiques and imagine my surprise when the cashier at the souvenir store asked me would I like a bag for the greeting cards that I purchased. You know me…the first thing out of my mouth was how much is this gonna cost. She informed me that it would be $.25 per bag. That means the big bag that I unknowingly purchased at the grocery store costs the same amount as this tiny little 5X7 bag that my greeting cards might be riding home in. To make mattes worse, I would have to purchase yet another bag to put my coffee mug in. Since I planned on framing the greeting cards upon my return home, I opted for the bag to protect them and I carried my coffee mug out of the store with no bag.
Before returning home I decided to stop into a local surf shop and pick up a couple of sweatshirts. $175 later the cashier asked me would I like a bag and I in turn asked her was there a charge. When she said it was $.25 a bag, I tied one sweatshirt around my waist, and held the others as I walked down the street. This time I was mad. If I spend several hundred dollars in your store, the least you can do is absorb the cost of giving me a bag to carry my goods. I realize bags are filling up the landfills at an alarming rate and when I am home I do my part to cut down on my family's waste. I live in Contra Costa County and the stores in Richmond and El Cerrito charge money for bags. If I'm going to the grocery store I always bring my own reusable bags. HOWEVER when I go and purchase an $800 suit for my husband I feel the store should absorb the cost of the bag, or better yet throw in a garment bag for free. After all theses stores are not paying fees to the city for these bags, but they keep it for themselves. Since I live directly in the middle of 2 shopping malls I ALWAYS choose to shop at the one that does not charge me for bags. In a day where taxes and surcharges are being added on to our bills at every turn, bags are something that I refuse to pay for. I do keep a crate full a reusable shopping bags in my car at all times, but I refuse to use them for my clothing purchases and will continue to patronize the stores that value my business enough to include a shopping bag with my purchase.
So what do you think? Does your city charge for shopping bags? Do you use reusable bags?