Kroger: Why Stop Giving Bag Credit?

January 4th, 2012

I don’t take my own bags to the store for the bag credit, but receiving it always seems like a nice way for the store to say thanks for making an effort. Unfortunately, several Kroger stores have stopped offering a credit to customers who take their own bags. If you live in an area that still offers this credit, please leave a comment.

If it’s one thing I can assume about Kroger it’s that they can definitely afford to give customers bag credits. They’ve almost totally taken over my local grocery store scene. In fact, they’re the only  large grocery chain in my area. I’m guessing here, but something tells me that stopping the bag credit has nothing to do with money.

I think that Kroger stores would have appreciated saving a few bags, so I’m puzzled by their actions. I hope the reusable bag credit at Kroger hasn’t died because the employees didn’t like dealing with consumers taking their own bags. No one ever complained to me though. And even if they didn’t like it, they’re stuck with me and my reusable bags.

Maybe Kroger’s excuse is lack of participation from customers. If that’s the problem, why not advertise the bag credit? I never saw a sign, or anything encouraging customers to use their own bags. Perhaps Kroger folks should have a chat with the Whole Foods people.

Luckily, Target stores in my area still offer a reusable bag credit, and they’re very consistent about giving it to me when I shop there. Some Target stores also offer groceries, including organic options.

While receiving a credit for taking your own bags is nice, there are many other reasons to develop and continue the reusable bag habit.

• Most plastic bags are made with oil! We’re addicted enough to petro already. Let’s take plastic bags out of the equation.

• Plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife.

• Plastic bags are junking up our oceans.

• These lightweight bags have a nasty habit of becoming litter. You’ve seen them in treetops, right? How are they getting there? They float out of landfills.

• Plastic bags are puny. It takes more of them to do the job of one good reusable bag. Plus, I’ve still never had a reusable bag break on me.

• A plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

No, paper bags aren’t a good alternative. They require even more energy to produce. Next time you fill out a survey for Kroger or talk to a manger, let them know you’d like to see their reusable bag credit reinstated.

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