Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Green Memo: Reusable Grocery Bags

A Stupid Bag: The reusable canvas grocery bag with an attitude

Start-up company A Stupid Bag has found a way to cut-through all the serious debate about using paper or plastic bags to package your groceries at the supermarket checkout. The company has introduced a line of four self-mocking, "eco-friendly" canvas grocery tote bags; each with a cheeky saying all it's own emblazoned on it.

The first bag embodies the company's name and motto as it's statement. Printed on the canvas bag in bold black letters is the simple phrase, "I'm Just a Stupid bag." This humble bag shows it isn't afraid to poke fun at itself. There's nothing "smart" about it.

The slogan on the second grocery tote speaks to both the bag line's simple design and reasonable price tag. It says proudly in bold black letters, "I'm a Very Cheap bag."

The third canvas grocery carrier--the" cheap bag's" naughty sister--states, "I'm A Cheap Shit bag." Not extremely creative, but it does scream CHEAP in a loud sort of way for those who aren't satisfied with a merely "cheap" tote.

The fourth and last bag kicks-up the humility and cheekiness (and foul language) quotients quite a bit. The message on this bag screams out, "I'm Just a F#*king bag." We wonder if a shopper might be asked to leave the supermarket with that one?

The tongue-in-cheek logo-bags are made in the USA from 100% unbleached canvas, according to a stupid person at A Stupid Bag. The lightweight bags are 15 x 15 in size and can be easily folded-up (perhaps a good idea with bag number four especially) when not packed with groceries.

Each canvas tote hold contents equal to two standard plastic grocery bags, the company says. Further, a company spokesperson says one tote can easily replace 700 plastic bags over the course of a year for a shopper who buys an average amount of groceries each week or month. (We did the math, and that's a reasonable estimate.)

All three bags in the line sell for $10.00 each. They're currently for sale only at the company's website: http://www.astupidbag.com/. However, the canvas tote line should also be available soon in stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

In addition to the canvas shopping bag line's green attributes, A Stupid Bag offers an economic analogy, to suggest owning and using their bags provides an economic benefit to shoppers as well.
The company sights the fact that at Whole Foods Market, Inc. stores, shoppers get a 10-cent per-bag discount for using their own reusable grocery tote. Therefore, since the canvas bags only cost $10.00 each, they pay for themselves after only 100 uses at a Whole Foods supermarket--or at other stores offering a similar discount. After the first 100 uses then, it's money in the bank until the canvas bag falls apart.

Let's also not forget the personal statement the reusable grocery bags make. For some shoppers, that's worth even more than the environmental and economic benefits the cheeky totes offer.

Increased consciousness about using plastic grocery bags is creating a market for all sorts of reusable shopping or grocery bags--from 99-cent synthetic carriers made from biodegradable materials like corn and sugar cane, to fancy, high-end shopping totes created and marketed by celebrity fashion designers.
A Stupid Bag has jumped right in the middle--and a little off to the side--of this market, creating a line of inexpensive reusable canvas bags with attitude. And, perhaps ironically, the "I am an F#*king bag" is currently sold out on the company's website. Supply and demand issues, we expect. We can't wait to see their line extensions.

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