Hannaford tries to promote recycling and thrift with regard to their free produce bags, but it's way too subtle - the signs at the produce department look like part of the wallpaper. It needs to be more in our faces, impactful. We need more nudging, more reminders, perhaps also fewer stations with bag dispensers to make us walk back and forth to reach them? The provision of free bags next to each fruit or vegetable display encourages us to use more of them.
Hannaford's signs suggest re-using their 'free' bags, or using other multi-use bags for produce. How many of us stop to read them?
If we each slowed down and created a 'system' for keeping once-used produce bags aside, ready for the next visit to the store as we do with other re-usable shopping bags, we'd save a lot. Maybe make some light string bags for use in the store - they work just as well as plastic, and you don't have to fiddle around trying to get the edges to open!
A sole pineapple doesn't NEED to be bagged - it's a self-contained, sturdy fruit. A hand of bananas joined together is just fine unbagged in a shopping cart, so is a bunch of carrots, and vine tomatoes.
Free bags? We've all heard the adage 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' in economics - it applies to 'free' plastic too. Where is the incentive to reduce, to plan ahead, to take some responsibility? How about we have 5c added to each produce purchase in a store bag? We need to pay for our wasteful ways, to be more accountable to our environment. Sometimes we need a little incentive to stop and think about our excessive conveniences.
Sadly, it's only when it hits our wallets that we begin to care ... plastics are NOT free.