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Have commercial businesses all over the U.S. been forced to become more eco-friendly?

 
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 12:31 am
Hi. Recently I have learned, as of the time of the posting of this, that a government mandate was instilled in New York State requiring all commercial businesses that commonly use plastic shopping bags to stop using them.

Store employees are no longer allowed to pack customers' goods in said bags when checking them out and customers are no longer allowed to use said bags when bagging their own groceries, whether they are dealing with cashiers or at self-serving registers.

New York State government said using said bags was bad for the environment and they want to cut down on pollution.

Have similar mandates been instilled in all U.S. states, and have commercial businesses all over the U.S. been forced to become more eco-friendly and stop using plastic shopping bags?

Or has this only happened in New York?

I am curious. Please help. Thank you.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 832 • Replies: 11

 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 07:08 am
@JGoldman10,
Not all over the country, no. We have a plastic bag ban here in Boston.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 07:47 am
@jespah,
And some stores are simply taking this viewpoint on their own -- I know one Stop and Shop near me is no longer using plastic bags - they gave the warning about a month before they were going to do this.

However, another a town over is using them still --- I think there is a general push to become more eco friendly --- it is good will with their customers.

Ironically I went to the health food store a mile away and they were using plastic bags! I guess I just associate health foods with a place that would be more eco friendly.

Either way - I re-use plastic bags when I get them. I find them useful to pack a lunch (easier to carry and store in my bag than other alternatives for carrying my lunch) - I like them when I have garbage -- food like things ...potato peels, and other food products that you throw away - I toss them in a bag and tie it up so there is no need to run outside and throw away.
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 01:35 pm
Last time I went grocery shopping at my local plaza, as of the time of the posting of this, cashiers packed my goods in paper bags and/or totes, and I had to pack some goods in paper bags at self-service registers.

I don't like paper bags. They are usually chintzy and tear easily. But at least I got some free reusable totes to use. Totes that usually cost $.99 each. I don't mind totes. Totes are generally sturdier than plain paper bags.
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JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2020 07:57 pm
Some commercial businesses in my hometown are encouraging customers to bring their own bags when they shop, which I think is a good thing.

However, this might, and I am not claiming this, but this might encourage some people to shoplift.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.

I don't think people would be dumb enough to try to shoplift. Commercial businesses have security cams all over the place.

In this day and age I think you'd have to be pretty dumb to try to commit any crime, considering all the forensic and crimefighting tech we have now.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2020 05:23 am
@JGoldman10,
I don't think it increases the risk of shoplifting.

The biggest problem supermarkets seem to have is at the self service checkouts, not with barcodes but with weighed items. People weigh it alright but then they say it's something else, usually carrots because they're dirt cheap.


Quote:
Shoppers are reportedly stealing expensive avocados by passing them off as carrots at self-service tills.

Carrots are one of the cheapest vegetables by weight, which has led to suspicions that supermarket customers are abusing electronic checkouts in a shoplifting scam.

Emmeline Taylor, a senior lecturer in criminology at City, University of London, said people switch labels or deliberately input the wrong item to pay less for produce.

She told The Times newspaper that she first spotted the trend in Australia and it is also happening in Britain.

“I was working with retailers to reduce shoplifting when one major supermarket discovered it had sold more carrots than it had ever had in stock,” she said.
“Puzzled by this development it looked into its inventories and found that in some cases customers were apparently purchasing 18kg of carrots in one go.

“Unfortunately this wasn’t a sudden switch to healthy eating, it was an early sign of a new type of shoplifter.”

She said that product switching has become so common in the UK that some people doing it had forgotten that they were committing a crime.

“This behaviour is perceived as cheating the system or a way of ‘gamifying’ an otherwise mundane routine,” she added.

More than £3 billion of goods are estimated to be stolen through Britain’s 50,000 self-service tills each year, The Times reported.

Theft from unmanned checkouts has more than doubled over the past four years, according to reports.


https://www.itv.com/news/2018-05-26/shoppers-using-carrots-to-swipe-avocados-in-self-service-scam/
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2020 07:44 am
@izzythepush,
I use these self service type things at the grocery store. They actually have hand held scanners that you use as you are shopping. You scan the item and put it in your shopping bag as you go along. At the end of the trip you go to the self service and use the hand scanner to check out ... pay and leave.

For the items you weigh there are scales and you print out n adhesive tag which you can scan on your hand scanner.

Periodically when you check out it will flash saying help needed. A worker will do an audit checking several items randomly from your bags to ensure you are not stealing.

It probably is pretty easy to do what you say... but to me it is pretty dumb to say ... steal a few bucks for the chance of getting caught.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2020 07:59 am
@Linkat,
We have that too, but I've never actually used it. We also have self service areas where you scan your shopping afterwards. Sometimes it can be a bit much, the phrase 'unexpected item in bagging area' causes despair especially if you've just had to call someone because your last item wouldn't scan.

By and large it's quicker, but not always.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2020 08:28 am
@izzythepush,
You are correct it is quicker if you do not have an issue... if you do sometimes it can take forever to get someone over especially when you shop at an unpopular time.

To me it is annoying when someone has a full cart and they go to the self checkout ... not using one of these scanners. It causes a long line at the self checkout for those that have a couple of items. I have found that most stores with a self checkout no longer have a less than x number of items.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2020 09:38 am
@Linkat,
That's one of my pet hates as well. It depends on the supermarket, some allow trollies, some don't.
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 03:38 pm
I was told the Chinese government imposed the whole no-plastic-shopping-bags-for-customers mandate on commercial businesses in China first, and then the American government decided to to follow suit.

If the American government was so concerned about cutting back on plastic pollution, how come this mandate wasn't instilled in certain parts of the U.S. years ago?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 06:36 am
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

If the American government was so concerned about cutting back on plastic pollution, how come this mandate wasn't instilled in certain parts of the U.S. years ago?


I could think of several reasons - one we are supposed to be a "free" country so that mandating anything can take quite a while to pass and often times (in my opinion correctly) is very difficult - you are weighing the country's basic rights of freedom with being eco-friendly so there should be solid evidence and support to take away any sort of freedom.

Second - money - yep the old dollar speaks volumes - how much will this cost? How much will businesses fight this if it costs them more money for an alternative? And will these businesses take $$$ support from those government officials proposing this ban?

And lastly- how to enforce? Does it make sense? Is it really helping the environment - will a replacement be less eco-friendly? What about all the existing plastic bags? What happens to businesses that currently produce plastic bags - do we shut them down - then what happens to these workers?

There are thousands of reasons why this could not happen immediately - Somewhere like China can change this immediately because the government runs everything and people and businesses have little or no input.
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