12 March 2007

Bring it on back

There are two things I have noticed here in Italy that would probably be a good practice in the United States, both deal with when you go shopping at grocery stores. If you want a bag to carry your groceries home you will pay an extra 5 centesimi per bag and then you must bag the groceries yourself. This practice encourages people to re-use bags as well as bring their own rolling cart or canvas bag. It is a common sight to see older ladies pulling their little cart along the streets in the morning after collecting their groceries for the day.

To use a grocery cart at the big stores you have to deposit either a 1 or 2 Euro coin. The carts are held together by short chains which require you to insert the coin to release the chain. To get your coin back you have to return the cart and reinsert the chain, and then coin pops back out. This insures that there are not carts left out amongst cars by lazy shoppers or along the side of the road.


Anonymous said...

Bryan, I agree about the shopping carts but since the largest coin people could use in the US is a quarter, too many people would be willing to just lose it than walk the cart back. Maybe the new silver dollar could find a purpose.

Anonymous said...

Typically in the U.S. the coin operated shopping carts are not so much to ensure that the carts are put in their proper place but rather so that they are not stolen.

Bryan said...

I have never seen these in the US but I still think even at $.25 fewer would be out amongst the cars banging into doors. Plus I imagine store clerks would be a lot more willing to collect carts in the lots if they picked up extra change doing so.

Anonymous said...

It's not a problem for me when you go shopping in many countries in Europe for example in France,Germany,Spain and so on,you must bring your own bag because the shops don't give wrapping bags for your groceries or you must buy a bag to put your groceries