You’re About to Adopt a New Habit – Reusable Shopping Bags

By now you are probably aware that starting on Jan. 1st, supermarkets and most other retailers must charge 10 cents per plastic or paper bag, as dictated by a state law passed in 2021. Several cities across Colorado, including Denver and Boulder, already banned plastic bags, garnering 60-90% compliance, but this week the 10-cent charge and future ban goes statewide.

Plastic bags won’t be banned until a year from now, although Walmart is eliminating plastic and paper bags immediately. This time next year, you’ll still have the option of paying 10 cents for a paper bag, but plastic bags will not be available at most stores and restaurants. In addition, restaurants will be barred from using polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) containers for carryout food.

King Soopers is preparing its customers for the change by selling bags at its checkout stations. Better ones cost $5-6, but there’s one for 99 cents (shown here in Rita’s hand) that I’m keeping in my car so it’s not forgotten when I go shopping. Rita has been taking reusable shopping bags with her for months.

Another option is to take your own cart into the store, instead of using the store’s shopping carts. Fill it with your selections, and put your selections back in the cart, bagged or unbagged, after paying for them. In addition to the typical wire cart, Google can show you lots of personal shopping carts or wagons.

If, like me, you’re open to other ways to “save the planet,” here are some ideas.

Starbucks stopped filling your own cup or mug for a “personal” drink during the pandemic, but now it’s back, and they give you a 10-cent discount.

Recently I was at lunch with a friend who pulled out a Tupperware container to take leftovers home. When I told Rita, we immediately decided to adopt the practice, and she now puts a plastic container in her purse every time we go out to a restaurant.

At Avenida, we enjoy the continental breakfast served six mornings a week, and several residents bring their own coffee mugs and cereal bowls so they don’t have to use the provided single-use coffee cups or bowls. Tell me your ideas!