bag situation at market basket...

i haven’t been to a market basket since the shutdown began, but a contemplating a visit to pick up some things i haven’t been able to find elsewhere.

when the plastic bag ban when into effect, unlike other supermarkets, market basket’s paper bags lacked handles. not a problem since i always had reusable bags. now, of course, they’re banned as well — can’t even bring them into the store (which strikes me as a bit much. my sister says that in georgia, customers can bring their reusable bags as long as they bag their own groceries).

but i digress. what i need to know is if market basket’s paper bags now have handles.



I haven’t been shopping at the store, but did recently get an Instacart delivery from MB. The groceries were in plastic bags, which pains me but I get as a short-term strategy. I don’t know if that’s the case at the store as well.

Greygarious mentioned that, after getting frustrated with the baggers putting hot food on fresh fish, she had them start placing the groceries in the cart unbagged and then bagged them in her reusables at her car. I thought that was great on many levels, and have done it a few times at my local farm stand.

If you go, please report back!


forgot to mention that i don’t have a car. so handleless paper bags are a nonstarter. even the bags with handles are are a pain because i have to carry them by hand; much prefer being able to hang one on my arm, or better yet, sling it over my shoulder.

i may stop by on monday. promise to report back.


I have been shopping MB both before and after the reusable bag ban. I haven’t spotted paper bags in use at all since this craziness, FWIW.

I reluctantly resigned myself to the plastic for now. The reason is that I shop for my household and my older neighbor every two weeks. The plastic bags are more weather resistant when I deliver to her outside porch. Also easier for her to manage.


That’s exactly what I do too, but mainly because I use the self-checkout lines when I can to expedite the process, so I just leave everything in the cart, pay, and bag my own goods in a non-busy corner. I also have a small roller bag, so it’s a bit like grocery jenga to maximize the space with the heavy items in the rolling bag, and saving my back and shoulders on the walk home.

If the paper bags at MB don’t have handles, can you at least bring your own plastic bags with handles so you can double back the items on your way out? At least you can then re-use those same bags and it won’t be as bad as getting fresh plastic bags each trip.


This is what I’d do as well. However, will MB allow reusable bags into the store? (Not sure if they’re being that strict.) I’ve not been into a MB in over a month, but I recall plain paper bags without handles. Hannaford, OTOH, is back to using plastic bags in Tewksbury (plastic bag ban had gone into effect last year; the ban was rescinded for C-19 and Hannaford went back to using them vs. paper bags).


Stuff the disposable bags in a pocket or your purse when you go in. (For that matter, why do they allow purses but ban bags?)

apparently, the current regulations forbid stores from allowing reusable bags to even be brought into the store, which, as i said in my earlier post, i find a bit extreme.


At Waltham market basket they’ve had plastic bags. What I do is bring my reusable, folded up in my purse then put multiple plastic bags in my large reusable, easier to carry. I don’t like the use of plastic bags but if it helps keep everyone safer then I am fine with it.


eh, then bag them once you leave the store. :stuck_out_tongue:

funny thing is i always have a reusable bag with me in case I buy more than i anticipated or need to protect easily crushed items. i fold it up and tuck it into the pocket of my rolling bag, and no one has ever stopped me when i need to take it out to bag my items on my own. this is in full view of the staff too. no one has ever stopped me or called me out. i would hope that means that “if your bag is germy, you can infect yourself, but please don’t infect my staff by making us touch it”


I think you are right, they are protecting the staff.


And that’s fine - if a customer is willing to bag their own groceries in a reusable bag, why not allow them to use it? But I can also see someone wanting to use reusable bags, but not wanting to bag their own groceries and standing there waiting for a checkout clerk to do so, causing awkwardness and potentially fractious conversations between customer and store personnel. So perhaps banning reusables (for now) makes sense.


MB North Andover has brown paper bags, no handles. I need to be really quick about requesting them though, with social distancing the bagging has commenced before I get to the bottom of the cart.
And they have eliminated boxes which I liked to use with recyclables. I do see quite a few people doing the bagless cart bit and then using their own bags at the car.


Thanks @wonderwoman for starting this thread. This collateral damage (among many more) has been so disheartening for me. Early on, B went to Wegmans and came home with a sea of plastic bags. I was just at TJ’s a couple of days ago and the cashier told me that the warehouse is running low on paper bags (not that paper bags are without its issues, too).

Foldable, pocketable bags, like those from Baggu are great for transporting groceries. I always bring a bunch with me when we travel and need groceries at our destination. You could check out, ask them not to bag up your groceries then find a quiet corner or go outside and bag them up. More discrete than trying to smuggle in the big reusable grocery bags.


My “travel” reusable bag is similar to your Baggu bags. I have one (Reisenthal brand) that goes with me everywhere. It’s lasted about 10 years, I think, through countless uses and washings.

I also have several very sturdy cotton grocery tote bags that I bought at Trader Joe’s several years ago. Sewn locally in Lowell so you know I love using them. That stash is washed and ready to go when they’re allowed back into stores again.


my real issue is that i don’t have a car and get around by bus. so those small, fold up bags don’t really help.

i need something that sits flat, holds a fair amount, and has a strap long enough to sling over my shoulder. my go-to is an insulated bag from trader joe’s that’s perfect, but too big to sneak in. (actually big enough that i’ve used it to go away for the weekend.)


Trying to think this through with you because I empathize with you and your plight (and also procrastinating from work)…

You’d be surprised. I use the standard sized Baggu Which is probably the same size as plastic grocery bags (maybe a bit bigger) and they carry a lot. The big Baggu is huge so it would probably be too heavy when filled. Both styles are able to go over the shoulder. But other companies, such as Riesenthal (I have one too @tomatotomato) may have better options for you.

I’m not a purse-carrying girl, opting instead for cotton tote bags. I have some that are very sturdy. Could you carry only your bare essentials in a big tote bag/“purse” (since as @eleeper points out, purses aren’t banned) and then bag up your groceries outside in the nearly empty “purse?” And you could carry additional bags in your “purse” if you need more than 1 bag.


Bet that’s the one I have. Love that bag.


Love, those baggu bags, digga. I may just have to order a couple. Thanks for that.

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This whole situation is bumming me out. I’m not sure the science supports reusable bags being a risk factor. Yes, they came from your house. But so did you, and you’ve touched every single grocery item the bagger is adding to your bags more recently than you touched those bags. The information seems to be pretty clear that this is spread by respiratory droplets and close contact. Sanitizing hands between customers is happening anyways and I’m really not sure the bags are an issue above and beyond contact with the public in general. Actually, let me be a bit stronger: I’m sure the bags are not an issue. There are no cases of reusable-bag-spread COVID-19. I feel this is a bit of an effort to make people feel there is something we can control in this whole miserable situation, whether it’s evidence-based or not.

I posted my photos of bagging in the parking lot (the idea for which I got here - thanks!) and several friends chimed in that their states have no such ban on reusable bags. There’s also emerging info about big plastic lobbying for bailouts and pushing to position their products as “safer.”

Anyways, here’s $360 of Market Basket groceries (which is equivalent to $705 of Whole Foods groceries for those of you keeping score) in the parking lot, and bagged by me in my car. And no, MB does not have handle bags as far as I’ve seen.