Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

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TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by TW-Upstate NY » June 26th, 2020, 9:12 am

Some subtle changes on my weekly shopping circuit this morning. Went back to that same Wal-Mart where I got the super thick reusable plastic bag last week and it seems my observations about the thin plastic bags were correct. Looks like they were in short supply because this morning they were totally gone-replaced by smaller no-name paper bags AND they were charging a bag fee of $0.05. Those thick plastics were nowhere to be found either. I leave there and go to Target-they are no longer using paper bags but have gone BACK to plastic. Guess that's the retail world's version of "As The World Turns" folks. Can't make this stuff up.

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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by BillyGr » June 26th, 2020, 5:12 pm

TW-Upstate NY wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:12 am
Some subtle changes on my weekly shopping circuit this morning. Went back to that same Wal-Mart where I got the super thick reusable plastic bag last week and it seems my observations about the thin plastic bags were correct. Looks like they were in short supply because this morning they were totally gone-replaced by smaller no-name paper bags AND they were charging a bag fee of $0.05. Those thick plastics were nowhere to be found either. I leave there and go to Target-they are no longer using paper bags but have gone BACK to plastic. Guess that's the retail world's version of "As The World Turns" folks. Can't make this stuff up.
It is odd, but makes sense at the same time. As long as the state is not going to enforce not using plastic bags and stores have a good excuse (simple as this was what we could get at the moment from our suppliers, which people will understand with the issues during this whole thing, even if it wasn't true), it really doesn't matter to them what they offer, so long as there are bags for people to use.

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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by CalItalian » June 26th, 2020, 11:21 pm

Vons in Temescal Valley (Riverside County) were still giving out free thin plastic bags tonight. Manager told me corporate has not told them when they would start charging for bags again.

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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by storewanderer » June 27th, 2020, 9:43 pm

Raleys Self Checkout is assessing the 10 cent bag fee again... only has paper bags; other than that at other CA Stores I went into today (4 other chains) which I won't name since I don't want to call anyone out for noncompliance with this law that needs to be thrown off the books, no bag fees and thin bags still present. Well one store gave a thick CA compliant bag and did not charge a fee for it... they actually enter the code for bag fee then it shows up as a .00 line item. Did see some reusable bags for sale again at Safeway but signage posted still disallowing reusable bags in the store. Came home with a few of the thin banned bags from other CA grocery store chains and no bag fee was being assessed.

Stopped back at Safeway in Reno on the way home and there they were dispensing super thick CA bags. Funny Safeway gets the thick bags in NV where they are not needed... this has been going on off and on for the past few months. I see more CA bags around the Reno and Sparks Safeways than I have in any of the CA Safeways I've been to in the past few months.

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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by Alpha8472 » June 29th, 2020, 2:52 am

Safeway posted a sign saying they would not charge for bags in California until June 28. Nob Hill Foods also posted a sign with that date.

This made people start grabbing free bags like there was no tomorrow. I assume the grocery stores just wanted to get rid of their stock of thin bags as they would have to throw them out anyway.

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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by BillyGr » June 29th, 2020, 9:46 am

Alpha8472 wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 2:52 am
This made people start grabbing free bags like there was no tomorrow. I assume the grocery stores just wanted to get rid of their stock of thin bags as they would have to throw them out anyway.
One would think they would just use them in other areas where such a ban has not been implemented (particularly in a large chain like Safeway), or donate them to a place that needed them (our local store planned to do that for the local food pantry when the ban was first supposed to start in March, as they need bags for people to take stuff in, and many may not have reusable ones if they are unable to afford food).

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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by storewanderer » June 29th, 2020, 9:06 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 2:52 am
Safeway posted a sign saying they would not charge for bags in California until June 28. Nob Hill Foods also posted a sign with that date.

This made people start grabbing free bags like there was no tomorrow. I assume the grocery stores just wanted to get rid of their stock of thin bags as they would have to throw them out anyway.
All of the CA grocers can just warehouse the thin bags and send to Nevada (or in the case of Smart & Final, Sprouts, and 99 Cents only, also AZ). While Safeway NorCal with only 6 of 280 stores using thin bags, you have Save Mart with 9 of 200 stores (2 are Food Maxx which get different/larger bags than the Save Marts), Raleys with about 18 of 126 stores, still using thin bags.

It probably would have made more sense to just have the stores run down their stock of thin 3 gram bags then start charging for the 24-30 gram super thick plastic bags again. But this regressive law which needs to be overturned, is not designed with common sense in mind. Also bag fee in San Francisco goes to 25 cents per bag in July. That will give the grocers a nice margin on the bag sale. At 10 cents they are not making money selling bags.

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by TW-Upstate NY » Yesterday, 12:14 pm

Top's Friendly Markets as of today will start enforcing the NYS plastic bag ban. Paper bags for $0.05 or reusable for $0.99. I also noticed within the last week or so that Price Chopper/Market 32 is now allowing reusable cloth bags again so long as the customer does the bagging. They were still using plastic bags as of late last week.

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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by storewanderer » Yesterday, 10:18 pm

Things are still going rather oddly in CA.

One chain I went into a location and they had signs up "Pursuant to CA Senate Bill <whatever> we will charge 10 cents for all paper and plastic bags effective June 29." This location also had signs up saying you could bring reusable bags into the store but you had to bag items yourself and the bags could not touch any of their counters or employees. A couple hours later I went into a different location of the same chain and this location still had signs posted saying reusable bags not allowed in store, and also was still using thin plastic bags. Both locations in the same county. The self checkout prompted for a bag fee but I asked and was told they do not charge for bags right now. Amazing to me the same exact chain in two locations not even far apart is operating under entirely different policies.

I did go into one store which had signs up saying you can bring in reusable bags but if you do, you have to remove your items from the counter and bag them in your cart, and as part of that sign, also said as required by CA State Law bags are available for purchase for .10 and they will gladly bag your groceries "if you purchase bags." Is grocery bagging now starting to be a fee for service? I guess so.

Another large CA chain I went to was still using thin plastic bags, no signage at all about reusable bags (nothing prohibiting them or stating any policy about them) or when they will start to charge a bag fee again. Odd as I had heard up thread here that this particular chain was starting to charge for bags again as of June 28. Not at all locations evidently.

I am guessing the ongoing shortage of paper bags is a problem.
https://www.mynbc5.com/article/as-plast ... e/33223537

Also cannot believe someone is saying paper bags have a cost of 18 cents each. That is really bad. Previously paper bag cost was in the range of 8-13 cents each depending on bag size, handles or not, and printing. The 10 cent fee is obviously too low for this to work. Increase to .25 as some (high cost of living) areas in CA have and I think you will see people (and stores) start complaining; this is a regressive law. The super thick plastic bags have a cost conveniently just below 10 cents. But those undermine the whole idea of these laws.

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Coronavirus and Plastic Bag Bans

Post by TW-Upstate NY » Today, 9:27 am

storewanderer wrote:
Yesterday, 10:18 pm
I did go into one store which had signs up saying you can bring in reusable bags but if you do, you have to remove your items from the counter and bag them in your cart
That's a twist because the customer ahead of me at Market 32 last week had reusable bags and was bagging directly from the counter. Wouldn't think it would make much difference because they are sanitizing the belt after EVERY customer so maybe that's why they're allowing it. This obviously means you can't start putting your items on the belt until that's done which takes even more time. So glad I shop on off hours because I can only imagine what it must be like when these places are busy. Such is life in 2020 I guess.

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