Intriguing! Walmart is currently doing reusable bag testing in a select number of their stores, where you are REQUIRED to purchase a reusable bag (or bring your own!) View the video here (embedding has been unfortunately disabled!) Then come on back. Don't worry, I'll wait. I have a cup of hot tea and some mint M&Ms to keep me busy til you get back...
So, what do you think? Personally, I think it's a great idea (to a point!) If people won't do it on their own (and we all know the majority of Americans. They don't do anything unless they're made to! Wait, did I just say that?) than just make them buy the bags. My only problem with this "solution" is something people don't always keep in mind. Reusable bags can become just as much of a problem as plastic bags, if the situation isn't kept in check. If someone went to Walmart and bought a new set of reusable bags every time, well, that's just wasteful. And landfill-ful, after a while, too. I have seven reusable tote bags. Six regular size, one oversized for big purchases. And that's it. That's all I need. I resist (most) urges to take more, when they're given to me (unless they're method totes! Then I just grab! Ha ha!)
But I remember when I first starting doing the reusable totes thing, it was hard at times for me to remember my bags, also. Now I ended up carrying the items out in my arms, bagless. Sort of a "punishment" to remind me to bring my bags with me next time. But I can see how after a while people might either get frustrated from having to buy them multiple times, and that will help them remember; or they'll just finally get into the habit.
What I'm NOT a fan of is Walmart's low-end cheap reusable bag "that will tear after a while." They're completely missing the entire point! But then Walmart equaling cheap? Who would have guessed! Ahem... But hopefully they're on the right track, and people will catch on with time.