Tuesday, September 27, 2005


John came back last week and we had a ‘Welcome Back BBQ’ for him. Good stuff. Michael and Josh also arranged for a mini "John Greenfield tribute concert" in our living room. Even better stuff. Our house was nicely full of people for many hours.

Prior to the BBQ, Mia, John and I went grocery shopping at Edmar. I forgot my canvas sacks, so we had to get new bags. Does anyone know who is driving the trend of seemingly trying to use as many plastic bags as possible for each grocery order? Chicago’s tree branches are littered with trapped bags, and every grocery store seems to endeavor to do its part to continue ‘decorating’ the trees in the neighborhood. Do they consider this free advertising?

Normally when I go to a store I have either my canvas sacks, paniers or messenger bag and therefore don’t need bags. Somehow this simple request is offensive or too hard to understand. Why in the world would I want a gallon of milk in a plastic bag – especially when it will have to be double or triple bagged in order to even approach supporting the weight of the milk. And charcoal – what is the purpose of trying to squeeze the bottom third of a charcoal bag into a flimsy plastic bag? I cannot imagine that the bag will somehow make it easier to carry. Cases of soda or beer – please the sharp corners + weight of liquid will tear through any grocery store bag with ease PLUS these cases come with handy-dandy handles specifically for carrying.

I know that I have griped about this practice before, but I am seriously perplexed? Who are the geniuses who are behind this behavior. I totally understand that most of the bags are ridiculously shoddy and couldn’t support a load of packing peanuts without being double bagged, but still the bagging is out of control. [Oh yeah penny-pinching managers and/or purchasing agents: I highly doubt you are saving money by ordering the super-thin, crappy plastic bags instead of the sturdier ones, when your employees are now using near ten flimsy bags for every one sensible bag. Please re-calculate your pricing analysis].

It was raining when we went shopping, and the checker simply could not comprehend that we didn’t care about the rain. First, rain is made out of water – even assuming that Chicago’s rain is closer to acid rain that pure spring water, it is still friggin’ water – not molten lava. Second, if the rain was lava or super-acidic water, those crappy bags wouldn’t offer a damn bit of protection. Third, LISTEN and DON’T ARGUE when we have expressed our preference for as few bags as possible – you don’t have to like it, but it is our choice. Fourth, what exactly is the concern if the bags of chips or soda bottles get wet?

Is this phenomena limited to Chicago, or is this a (idiotic, wasteful) trend everywhere?


At 7:35 PM, Blogger hereNT said...

It's everywhere. Every so often I'm surprised when a checker looks at me, with my Kremlin flipped around and the flap up and says 'I guess you don't want a bag, do you?' Most of the time, I have to go somewhere at least ten or fifteen times before people remember me, and even then a lot of them don't...

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Sascha said...

Crappy grocery bags and Scott toilet paper. I don't understand them either!

At 2:35 PM, Blogger George said...

It is everywhere and the reason why is that plastic bags cost a very small fraction of the cost of paper bags.

Even if they use them at a 10 to 1 ratio, it's still *way* cheaper then paper.

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are places in the world where plastic bags are almost never used. When I was in France, everyone brought their own net-like bags with them. (Well, maybe that has changed since 1987!)


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