BYOB: Stores that Reward Shoppers for Bringing Bags

Posted on 09/16/2014

Paper or plastic? How about neither? Bringing your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store or big box retailer means you're keeping trash out of the landfill. In fact if just one person switches to reusable bags, it would save more than 22,000 single-use bags in a lifetime. But if being green isn't enough of an incentive for you to remember those bags, how about saving some green? Plenty of stores are willing to reward shoppers who BYOB-- bring your own bags.

Target hits the bulls eye when it comes to encouraging eco-friendly behavior. They're giving shoppers a nickel off their bill for each reusable bag they bring. The program's been around for five years so that probably means it's here to stay.

Whole Foods
Those paper Whole Foods bags sure are nice, but if you bring your own to Whole Foods they'll reward you. You'll get a five cent discount for each bag you bring in, which may not seem like much at a pricey store like Whole Foods, but every little bit helps.

Kroger Grocery Stores
If you shop at a Kroger affiliate like Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Tom Thumb, QRC, Fry's and more, you'll want to try extra hard to remember those shopping bags-- especially on days when you're doing a big grocery buy. The rewards vary by store but can include a four-cent discount or extra fuel points for their gas perks program

Lowe's Foods
Shoppers at Lowe's Foods can earn as much as $1 in Fresh Rewards just for remembering their shopping bags. The store provides a nickel in Fresh Rewards for each bag, up to 20 bags.

If you buy groceries at Reasor's you can save six cents for each Reasor's reusable bag you bring in. According to it must be one of the store's bags. You can also choose to donate your reusable bag savings to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

Plastic Bag Tax
While some stores are using positive reinforcement to encourage the use of reusable bags, some communities are imposing plastic bag taxes so that it will cost shoppers more to not bring their own bags. In Washington DC a five-cent fee is tacked on for each bag used and other cities are considering similar bag taxes.

By Alison Storm

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