FORT LEE, Va. (Defense Commissary Agency) -- Reusable
cloth bags are fast replacing "paper or plastic" as the
choice for commissary customers.
The reusable bags, which cost 70 cents each, were introduced
into commissaries in October, and since then, customers have purchased
nearly 270,000 at stores worldwide.
While commissary shoppers have long saved green of the legal
tender variety -- to the tune of 30 percent or more annually on their
grocery bills -- they can now conserve green of another very useful
kind -- trees.
One of the reusable cloth bags
available at commissaries. (Defense
Commissary Agency photo)
"Commissaries have long been good stewards of taxpayer
funds," said Rick Page, the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA)
acting director. "And, with reusable shopping bags, we're
applying the same sort of thrifty approach to how we use the earth's
DeCA's reusable bag is made of sturdy mesh, sewn together from
100 percent polypropylene. They are strong enough to hold 30 pounds of
groceries and approximately three-quarters of the bulk amount of a
paper bag. The reusable bags are machine washable and can be recycled
when no longer usable. Customers can find these bags on racks near the
checkout at their local commissary.
Reusing bags saves the commissary money, which helps preserve
the benefit by keeping operating costs down -- costs that are paid
with taxpayer dollars.
In fiscal year 2007, commissaries spent a total of $20,635,800
on plastic and paper bags combined.
If just one-tenth of all commissary shoppers switched to
reusable cloth bags, the agency would save more than $2 million
Customers always have the option of using their own reusable
In addition, all commissaries allow customers to bring clean,
sturdy paper or plastic bags to the commissary for reuse in bagging
However, the recycled bags must be clean and in good repair or
the baggers cannot accept them, Defense Commissary Agency officials
Whether you provide your own bags or return to your commissary
with your DeCA cloth bags, just present them to the bagger immediately
before bagging begins.
Product availability and program guidelines may differ at
For more information about commissary benefits, visit DeCA's
Web site at http://www.commissaries.com.
The Fort McCoy Commissary, building 1537, has a good supply of
the cloth bags and has them for sale near the checkout. For more
information about the Fort McCoy Commissary, call (608) 388-3542.