Almost everyone here carries their own sacks to the grocery — it is a habit. They expect to pay when they forget to bring theirs.
Boutique, specialty, clothing and bookstores supply bags free of charge. But as you get to more domestic and necessity shops such as building supply and household goods, etc., they may charge you a small fee for their sack if you do not supply your own. I always keep some in my trunk for impulsive shop stops. Pharmacies will ask if you want a sack or not, but it is free.
Europeans have been dealing with these issues far longer than Americans, and I think the systems they have implemented for the overuse of plastic bags works well. We only need to copy the road they’ve paved, et voilà, everyone will get used to it and wonder why they ever did it any other way.
Well done, students, for bringing this issue to light!
Stacy Tirman has lived in Switzerland for the past 12 years, but will be moving to Newburyport next year, where she has already bought a house.