Bring your own bags

zpmIn the Netherlands, it’s quite normal to reuse your shopping bags.  Plastic bags are available at the supermarkets, but you have to pay for them them and they’re not even that cheap!  For as long as I can remember, I have brought my own bags to the supermarkets, and even as a little girl I recall my grandma and mum bringing their big canvas shopping bags on their weekly trips to the supermarket.
Imagine my surprise when I first went to the States as a teenager, and there were people at the end of the conveyor belt packing our groceries in an endless stream of plastic bags!  Not only didn’t we have to bring our own canvas bags, we also were spared the trouble of packing everything!  Such luxury, I thought!
Looking back, now that our world is overflowing with plastic bags, our Dutch system of bring-your-own-bags isn’t too bad.  Although I wouldn’t mind the help at the end of the conveyor belt, especially now that those cashiers or so SUPER fast — I can’t keep up with them, it’s seriously stressful!!

I while ago I blogged about ZPM’s Trolley Dolly, and I’m still religiously bringing my Trolley Dolly to the supermarket every week.  It’s SO handy!  The fifteen-or-so bags are great: big, sturdy and colour coded might you wan to go that far (I’m too stressed about the race-packing everything to even consider colour-coding).
ZPM now also has a baby version, the Bagz, with 3 or 5 bags in a pouch.  As they state — there’s no excuse anymore to be caught without a bag!

xxx Esther

3 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Flying Pigeon LA | October 8, 2009 | Reply

If you’re riding a bicycle, and shopping, Basil bags are an excellent choice. I carry them in my shop in North East Los Angeles, and I have done well with them.

Some Basil bags and matching Bobike accessories really kick butt, are quite handy, and look good.

Plus, they’re from Holland – no need for cheap imitations when the real deal is available here in the U.S.

2. Courtney | October 8, 2009 | Reply

My (Dutch) father has always said that the Dutch are far ahead! Taking your own bags to the grocery store is really such a wonderful (and simple) way to save on the amount of waste we create! I always take a big cotton tote filled with other little cotton bags.

3. Toni | October 9, 2009 | Reply

It’s about time the US started to catch up to Europe’s recycling ways. Most places we have lived overseas you even have to buy your own bags. Everyone has their own little place in their cars or on their bikes for bags! Plus the big Ikea bags are great for carrying a lot of stuff up stairs if you live in a flat or apartment.

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