retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Walmart said last week that it will postpone its test in several California stores of a policy that would have eliminated free plastic bags in those locations. Originally, the initiative was slated to kick in sometime in the next couple of weeks, but the retailer now has decided to postpone it until after the end-of-the-year holiday season in order to get a less skewed result.

"The goal of this test is to gauge customer reaction. We think we'll get a more accurate reaction by offering these bags after the holidays," Walmart spokeswoman Amelia Neufeld tells the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune writes, “Signs in Wal-Mart stores in the California cities of Folsom and Citrus Heights had announced that shoppers would soon have to either bring their own bags or buy reusable ones - for 15 cents. The two stores, along with a third in Ukiah, Calif., make up a small test program. Going plastic-bag-free is one of a variety of strategies being tried at stores around the world as Wal-Mart evaluates ways to meet its goal of cutting plastic bag waste 33 percent by 2013.”
KC's View:
I know I keep getting killed for this in some quarters, and I know there are studies out there suggesting that in markets where plastic bags have been banned there has been no reduction in plastic bag litter. I just don’t get it. in our household, we use cloth bags exclusively when we go to any supermarket or drug store...and we use far fewer plastic bags.

Maybe that makes us unique. But I’m going to keep enforcing this policy at home, because it simply seems like the right thing to do. And I don’t need bans or fines to get me to do the right thing.