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
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?