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As a cashier, I love them but I also have a passionate hatred for plastic bags, but that's just me.


My mum works as a grocery store cashier, and her only complaint when someone gives her reusable bags is if they are in a crumpled up ball, because it can make them hard to pack. Other than that, if you only have a couple items, sometimes saying "oh, I will just toss them in my bag" can be a way to avoid random environment hating employees


I actually really like the reusable bags, but then my store doesn't have the spinning carausol thing.


we dont have plastic anymore, but even before, I had no problem with them. its when you go through and correct my bagging after I've bagged everything is when I get pissed.


If I had a cashier toss my reusable bags in a plastic bag, I'd rip everything out of the plastic and start slowly repacking everything in to the reusable bags, making sure to take up as much counter space as possible too. That is not acceptable behavior to deliberately avoid the bags.

Or, you could ask for a manager too. The only thing I can think of is not presenting the bags at the start of the order, or crumpling them up like kam mentioned, to cause that kind of resentment. The last thing, is making sure your bags are completely clean too. Packing stuff into nasty, fur covered bags is revolting.

Book Diver

I love reusable bags. They're much sturdier for holding lots of books, and the corners of books don't pierce holes in them the way they do in plastic bags. They also hold a lot more, making my job faster!


In San Francisco they will charge you for bags if you don't bring your own.



The only time I have an issue with reusable bags is if the person waits until I've started bagging to give them to me and expects me to re-pack what I've already done, or if the bags are dirty/smelly. I won't touch them, I refuse and the manager backed me up.

I really like when the customer packs their own bags, then they can't complain I did it wrong.


They also charge for bags in San Jose. No plastic though (banned from most places), just paper bags.
I personally like the reusable bags because then I don't have to remember to ask if they want a bag, then get eye-rolling when I tell them I have to charge them a whole ten cents. :|
Plus what Book Diver said..the books rip the paper bags too easily.
The only issue I have with reusable ones is when people bring in one they bought at our store, and then just set it on the counter with their books and don't say if it's already theirs.


AT and BookMaid: yep, gotta love the city and guess who forgets her reusable bags 90% of the time? -__-

If I remember right, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties (did I forget any?) all charge for bags plus banned plastic bags. What I don't get is why if I go to Target, I get charged for a paper bag but if I go to some other smaller store its no charge and plastic...


Yeah, I don't live out west, more so greatlakes area. I didn't relize that having them crumpled up would be a problem. Maybe thats it then.

Duke of URL

I think the main cause of that reaction is that the canvas bags are a break from the normal routine, which can annoy people (not that this should be a reason not to use them). However, those bags are generally a lot larger, and thus can hold a lot more stuff, and they're not that big a hassle once you get the hang of them.

In my current department we don't even have proper bag holders, so having one of those canvas bags would be ideal compared to trying to put items into a plastic bag without a holder.


On the east coast it seems like big chain grocery stores don't charge for disposable bags. Just healthfood stores and farmers market places where it's an individual choice by the business.

Anyway, yeah lay them out flat but otherwise I'd say just ignore it if baggers roll their eyes. Also, speak up if they just toss them into plastic bag. That's unacceptable.


Here in the Buffalo area, most grocery store cahiers expect you to have them. But if you do or don't, feathers aren't ruffled either way. We don't have charges for plastics bags.


There are some reuable bags I don't like, the ones that have rounded bottoms, because they're hard to pack stuff in. Or if someone handed me a nasty looking one (hasn't happened yet). Mostly I perfer the reusable ones because they're sturdier. And I almost always thank the people who remember to bring them in. (It helps to replace "Paper or plastic" in my routine.)


IMHO you should never put them straight on the conveyer for several reasons.

1. Reusable bags are extremely dirty, and honestly, I often don't want to touch them (so you've had raw chicken, veggies, milk, and other things in here? and never washed it? mmkay!)
2. It's a conveyer, it's for goods not for stuff you're not buying.
3. Unless the shop specifically has a bagger, pack your own damned bags.


"3. Unless the shop specifically has a bagger, pack your own damned bags."

I think this is the exception, not the rule- most grocery stores I've been to have the cashier pack your bags for you, or a bagger, and packing your own isn't really an option because it would hold everyone up.


I find the concept of having the cashier or bagger bagging your groceries strange. Here in the Netherlands you're expected to bag your own bags. We have a belt on the other side of the register as well. This is divided by a sliding thingy so two customers can bag their groceries at the same time.

When I lived in London the cashier always asked if I needed my stuff bagged. I always politely denied that. But then again, they also were taken by surprise when I wished them a good day.


@WhiteJoker, where I am in Canada it's the same way. We usually bag our own groceries.
And on topic: from a customer standpoint, I usually get the plastic bags and not use my reusable ones. They've all either been re purposed into storing something, or there's an ick factor I can't get out of my head. I'll (hopefully) find out soon what it's like in northern Canada, as I might be taking a job up there :)


I like the reusable bags. I love when my regular customers bring theirs in. I hate, detest and loathe the odd customer that waits until i am done scanning, bagging, and have given them their total before looking at me like a sad and dumb puppy while handing me bags and saying something along the lines of "Oh, i brought a bag...." and expecting me to re-bag their 200.00 worth of groceries.


I've been wanting to make my own reuseable bags but then I realize I have a new puppy at home and my epic stash of plastic bags is dwindling QUICKLY and I need those to clean up his poops! So right now I am in YES PLEASE GIVE ME MORE PLASTIC BAGS mode.


I have a slightly different take on this, but that is because I work in a warehouse store and we do not do bags at all. We have a huge bin that we put boxes in and shoppers are free to grab some for their items and shoppers are free to bring in their bags as well.

What I hate the most about the bags is that so much of our stuff is huge or in bulk it does not fit nicely into the bags and people with have a cart full of stuff but only bring in like 3 or 4 bags, well there is no way I can get all their stuff into those bags but yet the customer gets pissed off when I can not.
There is only so much the laws of physics can do. I just can not fit a 2 gallon jug of mayonnaise, 5 dozen eggs, 4lbs of ground beef and a head of lettuce into one of those reusable bags. Just not going to happen.

Crazy Cashier

As long as they're given to me right away I usually don't mind. Although I really dislike rounded bottom bags they're super annoying to pack. Also those giant bags that like costco has, they're too giant to set on the bag spinning thing where the bags go. If you've got a super giant bag like that, you should offer to pack it because there's no way I can guess how much you can carry otherwise I'll wanna just pack that sucker full. I love customers who offer to bag their own stuff when they have reusable bags because otherwise I always have to be worrying about those reusable bags falling off the spinning thing and going CRASH! .
I also find it sad though that people feel the need to tell me to put cold stuff in freezer bags... (because apparently some cashiers I guess haven't grasped that yet? ) . I do however love the reusable wine bags because you don't have to worry about those breaking and all that.


I work at Hell Foods and I absolutely adore when people pack their own bags. If there was a discount I could offer for people packing their own bags, I'd be doing announcements about it every 5 mins. At my Hell Foods, people routinely get their weekly or evenly monthly shopping done here which means huge amounts of food. Not only does it SAVE time when people bag and bring in their reusable bags, but people have also told me they like it better because they know where everything is and can pack their things exactly how they want. To all the families of 5 that come in during our peak weekend time and just stare at me while I try to scan and bag as quickly as possible while making sure everything fits but nothing gets squished, the bag is light enough to carry, and all the cold is with the cold and warm with warm all while my line gets longer and longer; I hope all 10 of these paper bags rip just feet from your front door. Our registers are made for people to bag, rather it be a fellow cashier helping out or the average joe. As one man told me "I'd rather bag than just stand here. Everyone wants the line to move faster but they don't do anything about it".I also make sure to find plenty of coupons for people who bag. Theres a good reason to be nice to the people who scan your high end groceries!


I despised those bags when I was a WalMart cashier. And it's because people ROUTINELY would wait until I had already bagged everything, and then tell me and expect ME to unbag everything and rebag their stuff. Also, if you only have a hand full of stuff, those bags are great, but when you have a buggy full of groceries, the bags don't fit right on the carousel to begin with, and then I have no space at all.


I used to work for Walmart back in 2009 and the number one reason I hated the bags people brought in was because it slowed me down. Why is this such a big deal? Back in 2009 your bonuses were tied to your transaction speed or quotas. If you were consistently over these quotas you were docked pay.Thankfully they seem to have done away with this practice but it goes a long way in that cashiers eyes if you have the bags already out, coupons ready etc.And don't lecture us either, i'm not your disciple or convert, my job is to get you and your purchases out that door as quickly as possible.

Matt Robertson

I can't stand reusable bags.I think they need to be banned permanently from all stores.If you bring in your own bags,then you should be bagging your own groceries in your own bags.Takes and wastes too much time packing things in reusable bags...not to mention the bags reek.


Matt uses Thread Necromancy! It's super effective! :D

I rarely remember my reusable bags in a normal grocery store. I keep them in the car, but usually don't open the trunk before going in.

I never put anything in them that will make them dirty, though. If there's meat in there, it's plastic-bagged to prevent leaks, and so on. I use them for all kinds of things not related to grocery; one of them is big enough to carry a computer's case, keyboard, mouse and so on (all but the monitor).

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