On January 1 Dallas residents faced a 5-cent charge on grocery bags for the first time. These are their stories.
The Woman Who Wonders What Her Bill Would Have Been Had She Waited A Kroger customer went shopping on December 28, four days before the law went into effect. She reflected on her fortuitous timing in an interview with NBC. "If I would have come in and it had been in effect, then I would have had to skimp back on my groceries to pay the cost of the bags," she said. Only a cruel God would allow someone to purchase so many groceries that the cost of the 5 cent bags forces them to cut back on their groceries.
The Shoppers Who Held Boxes Without the Help Of A Bag A Dallas Morning News reporter on the front lines of a Best Buy parking lot reported that "many customers were spotted carrying out large boxes without a bag." Presumably, they had to carry the boxes from the bottom. The DMN reporter then went to a store manager for answers, only to be stone-walled: "A store manager declined to comment without corporate approval."
A New Year's Eve Surprise When a shopper stepped into a 7-Eleven after midnight on Wednesday, she was surprised to learn of the 5-cent charge for her plastic bag. She reportedly feels "50/50" about it. Half of her cares about the environment but the other half of her likes having something to line her trashcans with. Human beings are complicated creatures.
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The Corporation That Cannot Forget Plastic bags in Dallas now must be emblazoned with their thickness and a store logo. While there has been much confusion with merchants over the specifics of this rule, no one has suffered as much as Kroger, that big national corporate grocery chain. "We've had to produce new signage. We had to order separate bags at our nine city of Dallas stores at an extra expense to Kroger," Kroger's Gary Huddleston told NBC. Huddleston has been talking about this for months. Other consequences facing Kroger include the poors Dumpster-diving for shopping bags. "We've got a real concern with this new ordinance that charges a nickel per paper and plastic bag that customers may go into our [recycle] barrels to take out plastic bags to reuse them," he warned in March.
The Bishop Arts Pet Shop Owner Who Must Buy a Stamp A local pet shop owner supports the bag fee, but also thinks that he does not have to charge customers five cents for his paper bags. That's because a loophole in the Dallas bag ordinance allows some paper bags to still be given away free-of-charge. His paper bags, made from 100 percent recycled paper, meet that requirement, he says. But the bags themselves don't say that anywhere, "so we're probably going to have to invest in a stamp that indicates that," he tells WFAA. That is fascinating. No, I'm not asleep. Please tell us more.
The Dallas Observer Writer Who Left A 7-Eleven Confused, With Her Hands Full After a trip to 7-Eleven New Year's Day, I struggled to get out of the car with a pack of candy, a drink and a newspaper in my hand. It was only after I arrived inside and threw the things on a counter that I realized: the cashier never gave me a bag. He never even offered me a bag. What the hell.
Send your story tips to the author, Amy Silverstein.