5 cent Ikea bags so we'll stop using them!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GoCubsGo, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I want people's take on this because it sort of floored me when I found out. Try to read this first before jumping on why I seemed to have had issue with this new process at Ikea.

    I went to Ikea today for a el chepo rug. I walked in, strolled around the store as always, looked at TV stands and such...all is well.

    I got to the bedding and saw something that was perfect, yet I didn't need it. I bought it anyway. I then found said rug and came to check out. I noticed that they had bags hanging before you checked out with a sign that read:

    These bags are now 5 cents which is donated....we hope that by charging you, you'll stop using them!!

    That's not verbatim, but it's close. I thought two things...WTF? And, nice...nice that they allow us to roam around the entire store, be greeted by some kid at the front with no prior warning that whatever you buy will have to be carried out by you, put in your car and carried into the house one handful at a time.

    Some girl mentioned that it takes 100 years for a bag to biodegrade. Ok, I understand all of that. My issue is not with the idea that someone in corproate thought that this was a great thing to do (know the 5 cents goes towards charity and note that I'm just the ******* to check their financial reports next year to see if that happens) but really...nothing was ever said before we started to shop.

    My point is principle. Tell me before I start my shopping experience, not after. As I stood there with no cart and now no bag, I thought...thank god I didn't need something else or I would have had to make some sort of attempt to get a cart for my 5 items! And the bit about "maybe you'll stop using them?!" I mean really! Maybe if it weren't customary to buy something and get a bag then maybe we wouldn't use them. Or how about f-the bag and just don't have them at all!

    In retrospect it is a good idea to some extent, but I know places that offer a 2% discount on your order if you bring your own bags. Don't f the little guy for actually wanting to put their items in a bag when they buy them! I laughed and told the girl I was going to pay cash because I wasn't sure if they were going to charge me to use plastic. Then I said I wasn't going to charge her for taking my paper. I was just going to let her have it.

    Sure, I sound shallow but know this. I think it's a decent idea, but it should be something you advertise at the entrance, not at the exit. Let people know that before they start shopping it is a good idea to keep that in mind. I will now pay for those blue Ikea bags because in the end, I'll need a bag and I simply don't want to carry items into my house by the handful. It's not getting to the car, it's getting out. Catch my drift?


    PS. I recycle cans, bottles, paper, plastic store bags etc. So yes, I do what I think I can do within my means so I'm not nearly as shallow about this as one may think. :)
  2. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    I think you're really over-reacting. Yeah, they should tell you when you enter the store; perhaps there was a sign up about it and you didn't see it?

    Anyway, it is only 5 cents, and those plastic bags are really bad for the environment. Plus, IKEA isn't like a grocery store where you're going to have countless bags. Most of the items at IKEA are too large for a plastic bag anyway. I'd be surpised if most people paid more than a dollar extra for the bags. I'd even venture to say that most people pay no more than .25 extra to use bags.
  3. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    They should really just stop the plastic bags all together...require you to pay a $X deposit per yellow or blue bag you take from the store and offer you a refund when go back and return them.
  4. GoCubsGo thread starter macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    It's not even the money at all and yes, most items are too large for bags, but multiple items are hard to carry to your door.

    Overreacting would be me saying I will never shop there. Read again and take extra special note that this movement on their part has made me say that I will buy the blue Ikea bags so I have a bag. Overreacting can be found in many threads (my MPB won't go to sleep, I hate Apple...Windows never does this...I hate you Apple!!) That is overreacting. :) What I am saying is this make me move towards paying more for a bag I can reuse. It's a positive spin but you're only looking at me overreacting by saying I'd buy a reusable bag. If only everyone overreacted the way I apparently do. :)
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I might like to point out that places over seas have been charging for each bag for years now. They want you to bring in your own bags to carry the stuff in.
  6. benlee macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2007
    i agree. you are overreacting. I remember when i went there was a sign out front anyways. you probably didnt see it. besides what is 5 cents and you get to keep the bag which can prove to be very useful and worth more than 5 cents.
  7. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    The government imposed a levy of 15c each on the use of plastic bags in Ireland. It's been the best thing. Use of plastic bags has gone down 90-95%, and that's a significant benefit for the environment.

    People have bought reusable bags for shopping, and life has gone on quite merrily.

    I don't think IKEA are trying to "f the little guy" - they're trying to have some sort of environmental conscience, however small that is is. And I don't think the girl at the checkout would have been too appreciative of your sarcasm. She's just doing what she's told.

    Remember the principles of waste management

    Reduce is first. Recycling is good, but not producing the waste in the first place is much better. Less energy in production and less energy in processing for recycling.

    I completely agree with you though about telling you on the way in. They should let you know that their policy is different from other stores. At least you know for the next time.
  8. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    We have a similar policy in our store. We charge $1.00 for gift wrapping (which used to be free) and let the customer select from one of five charities to which we donate the entire dollar. We still pay for the materials and labor but this tends to cut back on unnecessary gift-wrapping. We started the program midway through last year and so far it has generated about $4000 for local charities.

    We don't have signs throughout the store telling customers about our new policy... just one on the counter where they check out. We also explain the policy to anyone who asks for gift-wrapping.

    We don't have a similar policy with bags. If a customer wants a bag we give them one free of charge. It is amazing how many people want bags when they aren't necessary (like when they already have a bag, or when it's a single item and they're just walking to the car). Ikea's policy probably discourages a lot of people who don't really need a bag and would probably end up just throwing it out when they got home. For those that need the bag 5 cents isn't that much... and it gets donated to charity.

    I don't think a warning is at all necessary. How many people would alter their shopping plans because of a bag? As I see it this only punishes first time buyers who weren't aware of the new policy. What good would a sign at the entrance of the store do for since these first time customers wouldn't have known to bring along bags anyway?
  9. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    About ten years ago I had a part-time job in a supermarket which introduced a policy of charging customers for bags – as well as for environmental reasons, the idea was that rather than recouping costs for bags through higher grocery prices the store would offer cheaper prices and give customers the choice of whether they wanted to pay for the bag or use their own.

    Anyway, people would often get quite upset over this – and unsurprisingly it was my fault the supermarket wanted to charge them. ;)
  10. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    Wait a sec. Are you saying that IKEA in the USA uses plastic bags? Over here they're paper, both in the UK and Spanish stores at least.
  11. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Aldi do the same thing. I tell you what though, decades ago my mum bought some supermarket "lifetime carrier bag", and it's actually still going!

    I've got nothing aganst charging for bags. I think it's a great way to reduce numbers of bags, I'm always carrying my Wee Bee bag so I've nothing to complain about.
  12. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    I guess overreacting was the wrong word to use. It was the first one out of my mind. :) I guess I should have said you made it seem like a much bigger deal than it actually is. Like some of the UK MR-ers have said; they've been paying for a while now.

    Kudos for buying the re-usable bags, though. More people need to start doing that.
  13. b0tt094 macrumors 6502


    Sep 2, 2006
    Ive been reading these posts about environments for a while... most of them go this way...

    I cant do.... or This has gone up......

    But then when the people from Europe or Asia or etc. respond i realize how far behind America is. WE NEED A WAKE UP CALL soon. Sorry to get off the immediate topic but that just hit me
  14. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    Its frustrating that when a company acts responsibly like this customers such as yourself criticize them for it. Luckily many cities and states are beginning to ban the use of disposable plastic bags, because too many companies are not as responsible as Ikea.

    A great site to find reusable bags.
  15. Max Payne macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2006
    Brisbane, Australia
    If I remember correctly, Wilkinsons' (sp?) do the same thing here in the UK. 1penny per bag. What does 1 penny do to the whole thing? I don't know.
  16. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
  17. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I've never paid for a bag at Wilkinsons myself – but as mentioned earlier Aldi do, as do Kwik Save to name but two.
  18. Lau Guest

    IKEA here charges for using credit cards too, funnily enough. I think it's their policy of bare basics and low prices and then anything extra you pay for – i.e. if you use cash it's cheaper for them, so why penalise a customer paying cash for people who want to use credit cards.

    You say "Why not give us a discount for using our own bags?" it's the same thing – you usually get the discounted price, and you pay the "full" price by using the bags or a credit card. I do admit that it gets customers backs up more – psychologically you'd rather think "Damn, I missed out on a discount, I must remember to bring my own bag next time" than "What?! You're charging me extra? Grr". But personally I think if it pisses people off, they're more likely to remember to bring a bag next time. I know I'm so cheap that that kind of thing pisses me right off and I'm determined to not be caught out next time. (Even though I'm a bit of an anti-plastic bag fiend who is generally armed with a couple of cloth ones, if you hadn't guessed :p )

    Edit: About the 1p thing being a tiny amount – it is, but I think the charging thing just stops people taking handfuls and putting 10 items in 5 separate bags and double bagging stuff and the like. It just makes you stop and think when they're not free.
  19. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    This policy would make sense to me if they switched to Recycled PAPER and charged 5¢ for those bags. Still using plastic and charging for it tells me that they are more focused on their bottom line, than they are the environment.
  20. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    here the only store which offers stores for free are the big electronic retail chains and clothing stores

    for groceries all stores charge for bags
    20-30 cents for the plastic ones and 30-40 for paper bags
    some even offer textile bags which are perfectly reusable and last forever
    or some sort of isolating bags for deep frozen stuff etc.

    personally for groceries i take my backpack with me and a textile bag if i bought too much and if i buy more and drive with the car i use one of those foldable boxes which i fill up at the car directly from the shopping cart

    i don't expect automatically a bag when i go shopping so perhaps it's a cultural difference just like would find it ridiculous to get my groceries put in a bag by some store clerk like it's custom in the USA
  21. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    At Whole Foods Market - if you don't use a bag, you get a 10 cent discount.

    I get bags, but I always reuse them or donate them to resale shops...
  22. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    That all depends.

    Our local Whole Foods Market offers both plastic and paper bags (for a nickel a piece), but the plastic bags are thicker than average bags which makes them FAR more reusable than any paper bag recycled or not. I don't mind so much when we forget our canvas bags and have to buy some plastic ones, since I know I'll reuse them.

    EDIT: FWIW we've been using the same canvas bags for groceries over ten years now, but we STILL have paper and plastic bags coming out of our ears.

  23. OscarTheGrouch macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    G' Vegas South Carolina

    How are they focused on the bottom line if they are donating the money to charity?
  24. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    5 cents...pay for the bag that time, if you really think you need it, and now you know.

    Its 5 cents! I see your making a point here, but for 5 cents its hardly worth the effort.
  25. sturigdson macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2006
    a good number of grocery stores and Ikeas and the like are starting to implement this policy.

    Me, I'm all for it. Bring your own bags, and if you need an extra, you can get one for 5¢, not so bad a deal. It's much more responsible, and makes for much more awareness. Shocking? Yeah, it is, i hear you, jessica. And I guess that's part of the point. I agree that the signs should be in the front of the store. But the other part of it is this: next time, just bring your own Ikea bags, reuse them, it's all good.

    Some stores in my area [NJ] cater largely to a lower class consumer- people who are very much on the economic knife's edge. These folks aren't shopping at Ikea, even with Ikea's low prices. It's still beyond their grasp.
    One store in particular has decided not to implement this same policy for environmental reasons because it impacts the consumer disproportionately in economic terms.

    Is that a good idea? Yeah, defnitely. I think you have to weigh the benefits of these things, figure out when they make sense and when they don't. I feel Ikea's choice is probably better overall, for their situation.

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