Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The End of the Plastic Bag?

So I go to the local Food Lion to get some stuff for a party I was having tonight. As I was checking out, the checker was putting my items in a brown paper bag. You know, the type of bags we used to bring our groceries home in when we were kids. Only now, the paper is much thinner than the paper used for the bags of our childhood. The option to use the plastic bags doesn't even exist! How come when they used the plastic bags we still got the option for the paper ones?

Anyway, my brilliant check-out girl put four bottles of wine, yes FOUR bottles of wine into a paper sack. She put nothing in between the bottles to keep them from smashing together in the bag, and thus having me end up with wine all over my van when I got home. So I carefully wrapped some of the bottles in other bags for protection. The check- out girl was not pleased.

Then Ms. Ding-a-ling Check-out Girl puts three 2-liters of pop, yes THREE, a gallon of milk, AND a half gallon of chocolate milk into one paper sack!! You've gotta be kidding me!! Who trained this girl to pack groceries?!?! NO ONE - obviously.

I understand why stores are going back to paper sacks, and I have no problem with that. They want to save the landfills from all the plastic, and I do think that's the right thing to do. But it's going to take some getting used to, just like it took some getting used to when they first came out with the plastic bags. Although, if I had my pick, I'd keep my plastic bags. It now takes many trips to haul your groceries into the house. With the plastic bags you could grab a ton of them with their handles and bring them in on one trip, yes ONE. I want my plastic bags back!


Alison said...

Now that's interesting. In my part of the country all the grocery stores started about 6 months ago selling $1 reusable bags (I think they're made of woven polyester or something). They do still have plastic bags and paper as well, but they don't offer the 5c per re-used bag discount they used to have for people who bring their own bags. I have a nice stack of re-usable bags now and mostly use them.

I still need the paper bags - our trash service want the paper and card for recycling to be in paper bags. I also still need the plastic bags - I use them for kitchen trash (our trash can is designed specifically for them) and for kitty litter disposal. The grocery store plastic bags contain considerably less plastic than ones I'd have to buy to replace them so they are the best environmental option for these uses.

I'm really surprised that your store is going to all paper because from what I remember being told before they are more costly to the environment than the plastic ones, assuming the paper ones are only used once. I've always reused or recycled the plastic bags, which makes them a good option.

whittenjh said...

Maybe since they have done away with the plastic bags, you could use your old tote bags. At the Usborne convention, they suggested using old convention bags at the store to help the environment and advertise your business. I know the plastic ones are easier to use, but you can try the tote bag option. At least that way you could try to make lemonade out of the lemons they handed you. Especially if you end up meeting a new customer at the check-out!

TheFLy said...

haha, someone needs to smack her upside the head and tell her how to pack some groceries. I would have just tapped her on her shoulder and said "excuse me, you're doing it wrong, let me do your job for you, Ill even do it for free"

And as for those paper bags, we used to use them to start our barbeques, haha. They never got recycled, Im a bad person, haha.

buzz buzz

Periwinkle Studio said...

Actually, one day, you'll get use to them. (I hope) When I saw what the plastic bags were doing to the environment and to the animals, my heart sank. Have you seen this?


TheresaJ said...

Keep a stash of reuseable canvas, woven polyester, etc. sacks with you in your car. They are sold everywhere now. I was recently at the Maker Faire in my area and came across a booth where they were making/selling these resusable sacks out of old winderbreakers/jackets -- upcycling, as they say. They were fabulous. Lightweight. You could roll them all up in a ball and shove them anywhere. Not expensive either, and I'm sure they'd last forever.