Bag Battles

Do you ever find yourself drowning in plastic bags? Plastic bags are EVIIIIIL! They don’t biodegrade, they consume valuable resources in their production and when they are’nt dumped in landfill they litter the streets, cling to trees, float around in ponds or take up space in the cupboard under the sink!

Did you know that in the UK, supermarkets give away 17.5 billion bags every year? That’s 290 bags for every person in the UK, EVERY YEAR! No wonder we’re swamped!

L and I have been trying very hard to cut down on the number of plastic bags we use and, as part of our mini campaign to ‘BAG IT’, we are perpetually buying reusable bags!

We’ve got jute bags, hemp bags, cloth bags, Sainsbury’s fold away bags, Tesco’s Bags for Life, you name it, we’ve probably got it!… and yet how often do we find ourselves in the supermarket, about to checkout, totally and utterly Bagless!?

I often have irritating exchanges with sales people when I tell them, as they are reaching for a bag (often 10 times larger than the item it will carry), I don’t need a bag. They usually stop in mid-bagging flow and look at me as if to say “What the? Huh? Why? Are you sure?”, then I have to repeat myself explaining I’m trying to ‘cut down’.

More often than not I get my way but there’s always one who will argue that I do, in fact, need a bag because how else will I carry what I’ve purchased? “Ahem! What are these two, flexible, dangly things attached to my shoulders?”

The other day I came across a bit of a bright spark, this was the conversation:
Me: “I don’t need a bag thanks”
Checkout girl: “Sorry?”
Me a little louder and more forceful: “I don’t NEED a bag thank you – the box has a handle” NB: its important to try and remain calm and polite
Checkout girl:
Me: “NO BAG PLEEEASE”
Checkout girl: “ok I’ll just tie a bag around the handle”
Me: I sigh, internalise my abusive comment and walk out of the shop with a plastic bag tied around the handle of my box!

And finally, just to drive the point home home, I wanted to tell you about my trip to Boots yesterday:

Before I reached the checkout, I conceded that I’d have to have a plastic bag because yet again I’d forgotten my cloth one. So as the lady starts to bag, I offer my credit card and realise she’s reaching for another bag!!!!! WHAT!!!?

I raise my hand in a STOP! DON’T DO IT! motion and half shout “I don’t NEED another bag”
“Its ok” she says, “they aren’t very good”
“That’s alright” I say, “I’ll carry them under my arm” (they were photo albums)

“No, they really aren’t very good bags, I’ll just….”
And before I could scream “BAGGIN HELL, you STUPID old BAG!” she’d whipped another bag on!

DOUBLE BAGGING! Oh the CRIME! Does anyone else feel this way or is it just the environmentalist in me?

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4 thoughts on “Bag Battles

  1. We have found a problem to the bags. Luckily our nearest medium sized food shop is at the end of out street (pak-foods). We pile the stuff back into the trolley after the checkout (no bags) and wheel it all the way home. If it’s light enough we can even lift it into the house and into our kitchen. Ace.If i were you i would have taken the bag off the box and left it in the store. That’ll show em.OliM

  2. I feel your pain Big Hair!!! Plastic bags should be banned….even those so called biodegradable ones ( which still take several YEARS to disintegrate and generallt break if you put anything heavier than a stamp into them!) However Tescos (boo hiss!!) are giving out Green points for every time you either reuse a bag or bring your own rather than use one of theirs…..

  3. I can totally understand your ‘bag’ issues. we store ours under the stairs and push all our normal size carrier bags into a large argos styleeeee huge bag. Now we are not great shoppers, we hate the experience, we hardly ever go, so how comes the bag mountain is growing at such a huge rate? are they breeding in that huge argos bag? are they splitting and dividing like cells? maybe the carrier fairy is waving her wand in there and multiplying them? can anyone explain mount carrier bag under my stairs? which seems to have errupted like Vesuvius?what do you do when you want to get rid of some because the mountain has taken over?My real issue though is not carrier bags but its OVER PACKAGING in our chain supermarkets. why oh why does everything come in so many layers, a box, then plastic, then clingfling, then some netting, then some ties etc etc so it takes me ten minutes to get to my item!!!!

  4. I always get annoyed at bagging of loose fruit and veg, even though I’ve clearly not put it in a bag in order to sit it into my trolley!What happened to the policy of letting people use the empty cardboard boxes that all the stuff came in in the first place? That worked.

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