Sunday, November 19, 2006

Shopping with bags in Akron

Recycling, in order to be effective, has to become an everyday routine. Take shopping, for example. When I remember to return my shopping bags to my vehicle, they are there to be used whenever I stop for groceries or books or any other items I might buy.

When I forget my cloth bags, I lose a nickel per bag off my groceries at The Mustard Seed. I have to make the choice between paper or plastic. I usually take paper, as I've got a huge stock of the ubiquitous blue plastic shopping bags. I use them to recycle my aluminum and plastics in the city's new blue recycle bins.

But when I shop at Acme, I have to take paper as they do not use blue bags. This bothers me, so I looked up Acme online and found an online complaint form. I encourage all who shop in Akron to use the same form and lodge a similar request. Let's see if we can make a small dent in shopping bag excess.

I read an article a few years back in The New Yorker about a group that has as its hobby the risky business of ridding trees of plastic bags. The darn things blow in the wind and lodge themselves in trees all over NYC. This small group of folks couldn't stand looking at them anymore and began removing them. Direct Action at its finest.

So being mindful of plastic bags is something we all can do to help the environment and make Akron a better place to live. Here's what I emailed Acme. I will let my readers know if I get any response.

Dear Acme Corp,

I generally prefer grocery shopping at your stores over the other chains except for one major problem. Your plastic shopping bags are brown instead of blue. Why do you not promote recycling by using blue plastic shopping bags for your customers' convenience?

My overall favorite grocery store is The Mustard Seed in Montrose. Not only do they provide blue plastic bags, they also give a discount of 5 cents per shopping bag to those customers who bring their own bags rather than use store bags.

I have noticed that Acme stores now have more organic and whole food products available and that makes me happy. I want to support my local stores over the big chains. I burn up less carbon by shopping at my local Acme than by driving out to Montrose.

Please consider changing to blue bags and promoting the use of re-usable shopping bags. You could even sell cloth bags with a beautiful Acme logo design on them. If you won't give up the brown plastic bags, at least provide a recycle box for customers. Those bags are not accepted in the Akron trash recycle program.


rena. said...

I think you have a great blog, but more importantly, you have a great point here. If more stores had incentives for customers to bring their own bags, think of all the waste that could be diverted from landfills!
I'd love for you to check out my blog at

It's affiliated with, which has information on the detrimental effects of plastic bags on the environment as well as contact info to order reusable bags. Enjoy!

Village Green said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! I visited and the blog -- what great resources and calls to action! I will be linking yours here and quoting extensively in my campaign to get Acme to carry blue bags.

Actually, now that I've read of the true horrors brought about by escaped bags I'm ready to never touch another plastic bag ever!