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September 27, 2021


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A non

Nah, they also don't want customers carrying items out of the store by hand, dropping and breaking them, and then demanding replacements.

The only reasonable thing to have done was to have taken your shirt off, tied off the top and sleeves, and then claimed that that was your bag.

Lee Fennell

I agree with the clerk's interpretation. It seems highly unlikely that the only goal of the policy was to reduce paper bag use to save the environment. It was to maximize Whole Foods' returns, a more complex goal that includes saving on bag costs, making customers feel the company is socially responsible, getting customers to buy freely (rather than limiting purchases to what they can clutch to their bodies), and avoiding the clean up, bad vibes, and replacement costs that will inevitably ensue when product-clutching customers lose their grip on various items before exiting the premises. No textualism required.


Alas, whichever theory of interpretation is applied, the sign doesn't define the term "bag"!


Although I shop at WholeFoods, my nearest food store, I have never paid much attention to the bag policy. However, it might be helpful to know about how they handle orders that require multiple bags either because they are large or the customer requests double bagging. If they charge by the bag, then there is a an inconsistency in their policy as articulated by the clerk.

Dan Lewerenz

Perhaps the goal is not just to save a bag, but to get customers in the habit of bringing their own bag. After all, if you had bought more items than you could carry, then you would have needed one of their bags. The advantage of reducing bag use diminishes if they're saved only in the sort of small transaction that you made. But if you always have a bag with you when you go to Whole Foods, then you save money and Whole Foods uses fewer bags--everyone wins.

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