While in line, the woman behind me noticed my bag and mentioned to her husband "hey, look, she's got one of those bags," and then asked me how much it cost. I told her I didn't remember because I bought it a long time ago but I knew that Safeway now sold reusable shopping bags and she should ask the cashier.
That started her on a minor rant about the proposed change to start charging customers for the plastic bags. "I think that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, charging people for the bags. That's just dumb." I couldn't let this opportunity go and told her that the bags really aren't free. The company has to recoup the costs somehow, and that even though we aren't yet charged directly for them, we are still paying. I also told her that she didn't need a fancy canvas bag to get the discount. She could reuse the plastic shopping bags she already had and still get the bag discount. Her reply "3 cents a bag? That's not worth it."
Ok, I'm a bit confused. Charging customers 3 cents per new plastic bag is "the stupidest thing [she's] ever heard" but getting a 3 cent credit (subtracted from her grocery bill) for each bag she brings herself just isn't worth it?
Walking home, I was thinking about my trusty canvas shopping bags and realized with some surprise that I've had these and used them regularly since 1990. Yes, I remember the year, because I got them at Target right after I moved into my first apartment and was thus now responsible for getting my own groceries.
18 years. And the bags are still in fantastic shape.