Communities around the world have made a lot of progress over the past few years to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. So when Gov. Pritzker and others announced new guidelines that shoppers no longer could use reusable bags, we were concerned. We wondered if there were a way that we could continue to use reusable bags, while not exposing cashiers, baggers, and other shoppers to any coronavirus that might be on the reusable bags. 

Here’s what we came up with (others may have come up with similar or even better ideas): While shopping, we leave our reusable bags in the car. When we checkout, we tell the cashier and the bagger, “No bags please; just put the groceries in the cart.” After the cashier rings up each item, the bagger puts each item back into the shopping cart, without a bag. 

After we pay, we push the shopping cart out to the car, load the groceries into our reusable bags, and drive home. When we unload the groceries at home, we wipe them with disinfectant, then we put the bags themselves into the laundry, or just give them a 20-second hand-washing. 

In addition to preventing the use of plastic bags, another subtle advantage is that we’ve never had cleaner bags to carry around in the trunk of our car. Both Jewel and Whole Foods management have approved this practice. 

Art and Sher Watts Spooner

Oak Park

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