General Question

jca2's avatar

Do you find that brown paper bags from the grocery store are not as strong as they used to be?

Asked by jca2 (16322points) 2 weeks ago

When I was little and growing up, brown paper bags were what the grocery store provided, not plastic. Plastic bags didn’t exist yet, at least not for groceries. The brown paper bags would be loaded up with groceries, including milk because milk didn’t come in plastic jugs with handles, they were in the boxes, so it all went into the brown paper bags and all was well.

Now, since we’re trying to cut down on plastic use, brown paper bags are popular again in grocery stores. It’s not uncommon for me to have the bag rip, or for me to put my finger through the paper, for the bottom of the bag and the groceries spill in the driveway. Even Trader Joe’s, which has good paper bags with handles, the bags will rip or the handle will rip off. The bags need to be doubled in order to be the strength that one bag used to be.

Do you find this also?

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16 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

Yup. Just done bagging at Whole Foods and I had to double bag to make sure this whole chicken, a dozen eggs, 2 lbs salmon and a slice of Tres Leches cake don’t drop on the driveway later.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The only durable paper bags in my area are McDonald’s. Also I prefer paper bags with handles.

I spend the $0.35 for cotton bags. I use them as garbage bags hung up on my kitchen drawers.

ragingloli's avatar

I have always used reusable cloth bags.

JLeslie's avatar

At my regular supermaket they are thinner and shorter. They changed about 6 months ago.

At places like Trader Joe’s they are still very sturdy.

When I was a kid we often walked to the grocery store so it was really important the bags held. We double bagged sometimes.

I usually bring my own insulated bags so it’s not a big deal, except I use them for throwing out weeds from my lawn and clippings from bushes in my landscaping. I also reuse them at the supermarket sometimes.

janbb's avatar

In New Jersey, supermarkets don’t give out bags any more and plastic bags are banned. You have to bring your own to the store which is a great thing. Other stores give out brown bags sometimes and yes, they are flimsier.

jca2's avatar

@janbb Here in NY/CT, they have plastic bags but you have to pay for them, like 5 or 10 cents each. Some stores charge for paper bags. Last night, I was in Shop Rite and they charged 10 cents for paper, but I took a second bag and they didn’t seem to care. They also sell heavier duty plastiic shopping bags for a dollar or two each. One of my neighbors pointed out that with the “plastic bag ban” stores (here) still have plastic bags, but since they’re now able to charge you for them, it’s just passing the cost on from the store to the consumer, since stores used to have to absorb the cost of the bags themselves. She had a good point.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie At Trader Joe’s, they will often double bag because if there’s too much in the bag, it will rip or the handle will come off. I’ve had that happen and now I request they double bag.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 Our stores will sell you the reusable bags but not single use. I have cute ones from the National Wildlife Foundation with a donation; the caslhers always remark on them.

jca2's avatar

@janbb I have so many bags of all types. My problem is I forget to bring them into the store.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 It took me a while to make it an ingrained habit. They stay in the trunk of my car.

jca2's avatar

@janbb They’re in my car, too, and in the house, but when I’m walking into the store, it’s not something I even think of until I’m actually on line.

ragingloli's avatar

I use a backpack to shop. The bags are in the backpack, so I never forget the bags. The backpack for the heavy stuff, and the bags for the rest.

elbanditoroso's avatar

My Kroger doesn’t do paper any more, only plastic.

SnipSnip's avatar

Yes, the paper is lighter weight and the bags are smaller. I always get paper bags at the grocery and fuss about the fact they stopped buying the largest ones.

jca2's avatar

I was shopping earlier today and I put some things into brown paper bags. I realized when I opened the bags that they’re not glued that well on the bottom, and the paper on the bottom barely meets in the middle. There’s no overlapping, which I’m sure contributes to the bags’ weakness.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 That once happened to me that the bag wasn’t glued. I don’t remember if it was an older bag or a new one.

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