Trader Joe’s New Bag Fee in September

The traditional paper bag and the reusable vinyl bag/Photo/C. Giraud

Your friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s locations in the city of Los Angeles has jumped on the ‘charge for paper bags’ bandwagon in an effort to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags.

Beginning September 2012, Trader Joe’s will charge 10 cents for each paper shopping bag.

In an effort to regulate bag use and minimize enviornmental waste, this move follows in the footsteps of the city of Santa Monica’s 2011 ordinance where retail customers are now charged 10 cents for each single-use paper shopping bag, which is part of the citywide ban on plastic shopping bags.

However, the Santa Monica Trader Joe’s has been charging for the bags since the ordinance went into effect in September 2011.

On the state level, www.Plasticbaglaws.org says that San Francisco was the first city in California, and the nation to implement the ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, instead of charging a fee.

The ordinance, Californians Against Waste, is part of California AB 1998 that eliminates the distribution of an estimated 19 billion single-use plastic shopping bags a year in California, reducing plastic litter pollution.

Enviornmental groups argue the errant plastic bags are often not recycled, at only 5%, and end up floating in the ocean or littering the streets.

Currently, the Los Angeles City Council is considering an ordinance banning the use of both paper and plastic shopping bags at 7,500 stores, switching to reusable bags only.

According to the website, ‘Broken Secrets,’ Trader Joe’s was the first store to market reusable canvas shopping bags in their 1977 campaign, “Save a Tree.”

Do you think this will encourage people to buy reusable shopping bags or pay the 10 cents for each paper bag when shopping at Trader Joe’s?

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