Reusable Bags: Stores offer discounts

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We've all got plastic store bags somewhere in our home. Many get repurposed, but the rest usually end up as the garbage. Many retailers want to encourage you to BYOB-Bring Your Own Bag. Martin's subtracts 5 cents for every bag you bring.

"Our customers are looking for ways to help the environment and this is a seamless easy way to bring your bags in and get 5 cent back," said Carmella Cramer, Manager of the Martin's in Chesterfield.

About half of their customers take the discount, but if you don't want or need to cash in your bonus savings, Martin's will donate it to the Central Virginia Food Bank.

So far this year Cramer said, "Our customers have donated $28,000."

And the trend is catching on. Whole Foods also offers the nickel discount with the option of donation. You'll score a 5 cents per bag at stores like Target, Kroger and Good Foods. Ellwood Thompson upped the recycle ante to ten cents a bag.

One of the most lucrative savings comes from CVS. Every four times I scan my green bag tag, I get a dollar back to use in the store.

Amy Dobler is an avid recycler and likes to do her part to help the environment, but more importantly, she values the lesson it teaches her children.

"We recycle at home, they recycle at school, they learn how to do this, they know how to do it, it's important for us to do this altogether," she said.

This year alone, Martin's customers have removed more than a million bags from the environment. Martin's sees the benefit by purchasing fewer bags. They spend $325,000 a year buying plastic bags for their Richmond stores.

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