BYOB Stirs Controversy

Henry’s Farm, a local organic farm that brings a wide range of produce every week to my local farmer’s market, stirred the pot a bit lately when they asked shoppers to byob, or pay $0.25 for a biodegradable bag to tote their produce home.  BYOB?  It stands for Bring Your Own Bag.

As I noted in a previous post, not giving plastic bags to your costumers is all the rage.  Whole Foods no longer has plastic grocery bags, of course, and San Francisco and Paris have banned plastic bags.  But what happens when an organic farmer asks stops providing free plastic bags?  According to the Chicago Tribune, some people get kind of mad about it.

Maybe organic farmers and other earth-friendly types should insist that their patrons BYOB.  As in bring your own beer.  Have a drink, chill out, and stash the organic tomatoes and cilantro you are buying into your own backpack.

Photo from my own collection.

9 thoughts on “BYOB Stirs Controversy”

  1. Robert Lovinger

    Our plastic crop failed this year? I love it, but sarcasm at a customer’s expense can be costly to the seller, so. . . But we have begun to bring our own totes. Changing habits can be irritating and some people don’t think too far in advance. Oh well, if it weren’t for folks like these we’d have to pay attention to politics & think how irritating THAT would be.

  2. Well, you don’t expect people to bring there own do you? (not sure how to express sarcasm in writing). Until people stop being selfish and realize that sometimes THEY need to be responsible, this is still going to happen. The farmers should have just turned around and told the dumb-dumbs “sorry, our plastic crop failed this year”.

  3. I lived in Switzerland for three years. It is the norm there to take your own shopping bag to farmer’s markets, supermarkets, etc. It’s annoying at first, but you get used to it and, in the end, it’s very eco-friendly. By the way, Switzerland is as green as a country can get!

  4. They make great nylon foldable green bags that are lightweight and you can keep them in your purse or pocket for that impulse buy, too.

  5. You are paying extra for the bags wherever you go, even if there isn’t an explicit charge for them. I think the “rebate” that Whole Foods provides of 10 cents/bag is the wrong way to go. What’s to get mad about?

  6. I agree with RuthClaire and Tara–I always bring my own bags and containers with me to the farmer’s market. I guess the angry consumers just don’t get the spirit of the whole farmer’s market thing….

  7. I remember back in the day (7 years ago…) when I wasn’t aware of the perils of the plastic bag. I would go to my local Sunday Farmer’s market in Hollywood and LOAD up on organic goodies and all of it would be in plastic bags.

    The walk home was so painful…forget the environment, my hands would be in pain. OK, sounds a bit princessy but my point is, even if you live under a rock and want plastic bags at a Farmer’s market…think twice because byob’s are SO much more functional and comfortable.

    Of course now, I never leave my home without my own bag…and my hands and my conscience have never felt better!

  8. RuthClaire Weintraub

    Unreal. Every supermarket in the country – mainstream and not-so-mainstream – is selling or giving away its own bag to encourage consumers to BYOB, and there are organic FARMERS in Chicago being chewed out for not wanting to giveaway throwaway plastic?

    What kind of nutcases would give the FARMERS a hard time?

  9. whoa, what’s to get all mad about?
    it’s common sense (or least should be)
    I mean if the person is buying organic why would they want to put it in a plastic bag anyhow and hey if you don’t BYOB then pay the measly quarter and take home the biodegradable container…
    not sure why people get all upset over nothing.

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