View Full Version : Won't somebody think of the baggies?
03-08-2003, 10:40 AM
As I journeyed from the checkout counter across the wilds of the parking lot with the goals of loading my car and steering it up yon hill back to my apartment, I asked myself this question:
How many more Bagtrees; those wonders that provide the colorful and useful bags to grocery stores, mass marketers and even JC Penny, must sacrifice their children in vain? For I returned home with fourteen items, placed into seven bags.
Some of these did serve the purpose for which they were born: the one that carried 2 two-liter bottles of soda...the one with the fresh chicken that could have contaminated the fresh vegetables were they placed together.
But others seem to have given their lives for a less noble cause. One contained only a dozen eggs, while another contained a single loaf of bread. Could not these have been combined by placing the bread on top of the eggs, thus saving one bag for the most noble cause of all: double bagging?
Deeper I delved into the bags. Celery (1 bunch) and carrots (3 single) placed in one bag...sealed plastic containers alone in another. I weep, for one more bag could have been saved.
Yet, in a confusing moment I realize that five cans of vegetables were placed with a half gallon of orange juice. Was this a moment of moral clarity for the bagger or simply an oversight? I don't mind, I can even rejoice knowing that one bag was saved.
But then I come to that which makes me weep. A single pack of cigarettes, placed alone into a bag, then placed into the bag with the pasta (one 16-oz box).
The bags are now nested within one another, and will be used again, but how much more full their lives could have been!
03-08-2003, 10:42 AM
Dang...re-reading this, it really was supposed to be more rant-like, but it reads like a MPSIMS thread...I don't mind if it gets moved.
03-08-2003, 12:14 PM
Yeah, the fucked-up way the baggers at the store work is just one of the reasons I use the self-checkout when I can. Large items (like milk, 12-packs of soda, etc.), I don't bag at all. Smaller items, I put as many as I can in one bag, light stuff on top of heavy stuff.
03-08-2003, 03:38 PM
I think this has the potential to grow into a fine rant, so I'm not moving it.
Personally, I'm amazed that more people don't use string grocery bags. While we still get some excess bags, we don't have a pile of them in the house any longer (because I am an incurable packrat and refuse to throw them away). We have half a dozen string bags, and two insulated bags for refrigerated/frozen items. We find these to be actually more convenient than dragging home disposable paper or plastic bags, we just grab the bags along with the shopping list and coupons.
03-08-2003, 03:57 PM
Argh, I hate it when they do that.
Lynn I'd love to use the string/canvas type bags more. When I give them to the baggers they still put one item in each bag. I can't really bag my own stuff, because I shop at a military commissary and the baggers there work for tips only. I still take them along for other shopping when I remember.
I read recently that Ireland put a tax on plastic bags and has reduced the amout of pastic bags used per year by 90%. It would be great if the USA could do something like that. It would never happen though.
03-08-2003, 06:16 PM
yup. it's 15 cent (euro cents, not US cents) for a plastic bag. paper is still free.
lots of long life bags on sale at the checkout, and now they let me put my shopping in my backpack without giving me funny looks.
they're expensive enough that you don't buy them unless you need them, but cheap enough that you can get one if you need to.
best idea the government had in a long time. the money from the taxes goes to recycling, waste management and other ecological projects. i think they've got about 10 million euro so far.
03-08-2003, 07:01 PM
That tax idea is brilliant, because Lsura is so very correct about the waste. Same thing happened to me at Wally World just last week. I bought exactly six small things and it took five bags to pack them up. To get them out to the car I ended up stuffing all the under-packed bags in one bag together before leaving the register. The cashier gave me the hairy eyeball for that, but sheesh!
Now, since I didn't reduce, I must re-use and then recycle. Does anybody suspect a lot of these bags don't get recycled? The way they collect boxes of used bags, I should be passing trailer trucks filled with them on the way to the recycling plant, but I never have, not even once.
03-08-2003, 09:11 PM
Baggers? We don't need no stinkin' baggers!
03-09-2003, 12:19 AM
I used to have to bag groceries when I worked at our local Super K-mart. I used to grit my teeth when people would ask for superfulous bagging, such as wanting the items placed in a plastic bag, and then into double paper bags. It seemed that some people wanted their groceries ensconced in enough packaging to withstand a twenty-megaton blast.
Double-bagging irritated me to no end, especially since I had the intellect to know better than to overload, and it was completely unecessary.
One co-worker used to pose the paper-or-plastic question as: "Kill a tree, or choke a fish?" She didn't last long.
Originally posted by BadBaby
Does anybody suspect a lot of these bags don't get recycled? The way they collect boxes of used bags, I should be passing trailer trucks filled with them on the way to the recycling plant, but I never have, not even once. At least in my locale, they are non-recyclable. I use them as trash bags and so reduce the number of larger bags I use, and they make excellent can liners for small bedside/bathroom trash cans.
03-09-2003, 02:23 PM
I second irishgirl's opinion: the whole tax thing has been a roaring success over here, reducing the amount of plastic bags used by about 90%.
But you don't need to have a tax to do it yourself - just get some durable, reausable cloth/plastic/canvas bags, put them in the trunk, and if the baggers give you funny looks when you come to the checkout, fuck 'em - at least you're not bagging groceries for a living.
03-10-2003, 12:23 AM
I'm with Otto on this one. I use shopping bags as garbage bags.
My logic is this: Why should I *pay* for bags that are, quite literally, going straight into the bin, when I get shopping bags for free?
The shopping bags then serve a dual purpose - they get my groceries to my house and are then reused as garbage bags.
What really gets me is the nimrods who put frozen stuff (ie stuff that thaws a little on the way home and therefore has some condensation on it) in with paper goods! Yes, I like having soggy magazines to read! Thankyou so much, oh moronic bag-stuffer!
Hee hee :)
Troy McClure SF
03-10-2003, 12:59 AM
Hmm.. tax on plastic bags. I like, I like.
Last night, I went to Cala (where I happen to work), and got the ingredients for s'mores. Marshmallows, Graham crackers, and three individual sized Hershey's chocolate bars.
The Hersheys' were placed into their own small paper bag. That bag was placed with the Marshmallows and crackers in a large paper bag. This large paper bag was placed in a plastic bag. (Did I mention that the large paper bag had handles?) And then, just to make the whole thing terrorist-proof, the whole thing was placed into yet another plastic bag. That's four bags for what required, when it gets down to it, no bags.
I use my backpack quite a bit, and when I'm working, I'm cramming in as much as I can (and yes, I'm being careful with the eggs and the bread and the cold items and such). Sorry if it's lumpy. You don't need eight bags for two sandwiches and some potato salad.
One thing I do, though is when I'm helping up front bagging, liquor/wine bottles get their own small paper bag. Is that good/ acceptable/ wasteful? I figure it might offer a bit of protection for what could be the most expensive, most breakable item you bought, but then again, if it's gonna break a glass bottle, a layer of brown paper ain't gonna help it.
03-10-2003, 07:41 AM
I too use my plastic grocery bags as garbage bags. If a clerk asks if I need a plastic bag when I have one, I always say "No. Save a plastic tree."
03-10-2003, 12:32 PM
I'd be lost without those bags. We've got two indoor cats, and we use them for cleaning the litter. We also grab a couple when we take the dog for a walk. Never did have to actually purchase turd bags!
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