By the year 2025 Kroger has made it abundantly clear with recent press releases that all of its stores will have eliminated plastic grocery bags.
Many readers might shrug their shoulders until they realize Kroger’s includes a variety of store names such as Pay-Less, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, and Dillons among the two dozen companies owned.
And that means buyers all over are going to need to come up with substitutes to carry their groceries to their car or home.
Recycle grocery bags
For the first few months, which most folks are already experiencing in different areas, it just makes sense to reuse the grocery bags one gets. These tend to be sturdy if initially paid for with groceries. However, eventually, they get so old and unruly folks to toss them quickly.
Designed store grocery bags
Many stores will sell grocery bags that are better than the fee-paid bags and will likely last about 3 to 6 months with normal carrying. These are essentially plastic bags that have been reconstituted from recycled material. They generally hold most groceries but are made cheaply on the stitching and won’t handle real heavyweights.
Bring your own bags
If you’re the type who goes to a lot of business conventions or you have a lot of bags to drag the kids to the beach and back then you’re likely going to have a good number of general use bags from canvas to plastic. You already own the bags, they are far more durable than any grocery store bag, and you can easily pack them in your trunk. The downside is that most folks have a smorgasbord of bags without standard sizing, and that makes it a bit hard to get everything in a few bags. Plus, refrigerated items tend to condensate when stored and can create smelly mildew in the bags if they are not washed regularly.
Big box stores like Costco pack all sorts of retail food in boxes, so why can’t you? Boxes can be awkward and bulky, but they make a lot of sense when you have to pack a lot, especially with weight. If you bring in a good size box with a few bags, you’ve probably just covered all the bases for all types of groceries in a given cart. However, make sure you can lift the box without throwing out your back because it’s going to be a lot heavier than a bag.
Bring your backpack
If you’re a light shopper and don’t take a cart worth of food for two weeks but just a few days’ foods instead, then a large backpack makes a lot of sense. Just make sure the store doesn’t think you’re stealing anything. Keep your receipt handy and still use a cart when loading in the store. Then put things bought in your bag after paying.
It depends on the type of alternative bag you choose. Reusable cloth bags and mesh produce bags may cost more upfront but can save money over time if you use them regularly. Paper bags and compostable bags may be more expensive than plastic bags, but their environmental benefits may justify the extra cost.