Bags are like rabbits

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Bags are like rabbits

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:39 am

I swear supermarket sackers are trained to be the Masters and Johnson for bags.

I'm a devotee of reusable bags...have about ten of the things in various sizes and nearly always take plenty into the supermarket with me.

Yesterday, I bought several different types of produce, plastic bagging only the peaches to forestall their getting bruised on the way home.

I swear I cannot fathom why there is any need to bag each of the following and each listed group in its very own bag besides: two onions, two shallots, 1 garlic bulb, 3 tomatoes on the vine. For gawdssake, the shallots and onions aren't going to get damaged or transfer their aroma to other things during my 15 minute drive home! The tomatoes travel just fine when laid atop the other things. It's not as if those flimsy plastic produce bags are going to do much anyway but contain things like the tomatoes that might possibly come off the vine.

I have a couple of small bags that are just the right size to hold two bottles of wine and damned if I don't have to stop sackers from putting each bottle into a paper bag and then into my cloth bag.

When I buy flour or cornmeal which come in their very own bags, each of those gets put into a plastic produce bag if I don't stop the sacker from doing so.

What IS this fixation Americans have with completely unnecessary bagging! It's no wonder that the rest of the world thinks Americans are thoughtless energy gluttons as ridiculously as we use disposable bags.
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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by tmarie64 on Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:36 pm

The smelly veggies are supposed to be bagged separately. If a manager sees them doing otherwise they get into trouble.
Wine bottles clink and chip and crack... Again, let a manager see the bagger, unless told otherwise by the customer, and there will be hell to pay.
Flour, cornmeal, and sugar leak. One bitching customer is all it takes to ruin a store.
Don't blame the baggers, they are only doing as they are told and cannot afford to tell management "Fuck you, that's stupid".
I just tell them..."ONLY my bags, thank you. Except for meat, I don't need anything put in your bags." and watch like a hawk to make sure they don't do it anyway. It's habit. I know, it's a habit I got in to when working at Kroger and getting bitched at because I dared put lemons (2 of them) in with apples.

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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:00 pm

Yes, I understand all that. I used to work retail, so I know you do whatever management says to do whether you like ir/agree with it or not. And I expect that bagging everything multiple times resulted from some kid gorilla-tossing the groceries and breaking something that wasn't double or triple bagged whereupon mommy called the store and complained that they didn't pack things securely enough.

In this case, while I was eagle-eying the cashier so she didn't load me up with superfluous plastic, the sacker bagged the produce I mentioned. Perhaps there's some slight merit in not bagging onions with tomatoes, but the onions, shallots and garlic could certainly all have gone into one bag instead of three bags.

With a reasonable amount of care loading and unloading your groceries, you aren't going to chip or crack bottles. They're a whole lot sturdier than that. Sure flours can leak a bit, but that's a slight inconvenience at most and not nearly enough IMO to justify enclosing a bag of meal or flour in yet another bag that you do what with when you get home? Put it into the bags-to-recycle bin immediately because you really have no need for it otherwise.

Meats these days are a different story what with the potential for bacterial contamination.

Shortly after Christmas last year, I bought a nice Christmas-motif pin on sale and was told by the cashier that she HAD to put it in a bag whether I wanted the bag or not. I said that I had the receipt showing I'd just bought it that very minute and preferred to put it in my purse. Oh, no! She had to put it in a huge bag. I'd have demanded to speak to a manager or supervisor about how ridiculous that was had the store not been busy, but I simply left her lane and dumped the bag on an unused checkout counter close to the door. Why should we end up trashing or recycling a bag that definitely is not needed in the first place simply to satisfy a store's silly policy that every purchase must be in a bag when leaving the store? The ecological consequences of that much unneeded plastic having to be dealt with frighten me quite frankly.

Maybe if those of us faithfully using reusable bags started bitching every time we get bags that are unnecessary, we'd turn the tide. Personally, I'd like to see American stores doing what I've heard European ones do...charging customers for bags the store provides. You can bet there'd be a lot less double bagging when the customer was paying for each bag.
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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by tmarie64 on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:25 pm

That's one of the many things I like about Richmond. Martin's (grocery store) gives you back a nickel for every reusable bag you have with you. They have a bin in the entrance for plastic bags.
Whole Foods also has recycle bins in the front.

Aldi does charge for bags. Unfortunately, there aren't many Aldi stores in the US, yet...

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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:06 pm

Five cents per bag is something but nowhere near enough to encourage people who don't already have the reusable habit to start. Who gives a care anymore about five cents or even the ten cents Whole Foods offers? I bring in five bags and get a freakin' quarter or fifty cents worth of credit? Big deal--a reward that's less than the cost of a can of soda. You can't even buy a candy bar for fifty cents anymore.

As I mentioned to a cashier at Target once, if stores would give 50 cents per bag or charge people a buck for every bag the store provides--maybe both, that might have some impact upon habits.

Sometimes, I think the human race deserves to become extinct. Too many of us don't give a damn about the extent to which we're trashing the only planet we've got.
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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by tmarie64 on Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:12 am

It's a nickel that NO ONE ELSE is giving.

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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by gillyflower on Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:52 am

I like the way that Trader Joe's does it. You bring your own bags or you pack your groceries up in their used boxes, that the food and wine came in.

Doesn't Costco do something like that?

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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:24 am

Sam's Club where I live has wire corrals near the checkouts that contain boxes for customers to use.

I don't shop Trader Joe's much because the one closest to us is very small and has nothing much that's gluten-free, not even flours, which is what I primarily shop the natural foods stores for. That one doesn't do the bag or box thing you mention, Gilly. Paper bags, yes, for customers who haven't reusable ones, but I don't think I've seen them providing boxes. Maybe it's a store by store decision.

Reusing the boxes in which food was shipped to the store to pack customers' purchases was a given when I was a kid.

I think we got so gourmet-classy once Emeril and the like became fashionable that piles of boxes on the sales floor weren't pretty enough even though putting things in boxes is far more secure than plastic bagging them.

That the customer isn't leaving the store with several bags emblazoned with the store's name and logo when shipping boxes are reused is a sizable factor as well, I'm betting.
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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by john5180 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:51 am

This probably belongs on your other thread, Dot; but when they ask "paper or plastic", and you say paper, why do they double bag you in plastic?
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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by wmdkitty on Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:41 am

I'm a fan of double bagging heavy items, but I try to use my backpack, when I remember. Otherwise, it's plastic, because they're easier to carry.

I have a small trash can that is perfectly sized to use them, later, as trash bags.
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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:09 pm

I prefer to get as few store plastic bags as possible. Most of the ones I get have badly sealed seams with at least one hole, so they aren't reliable as wastebasket trash bags.

I've arthritis in my hands, so I honestly find it more difficult to carry the plastic ones. I got a couple of those handle things that you thread the bag handles into to make them easier to carry. They help, but half the time I forget to take one or both handles into the store.

Cloth bag handles are much easier on my hands even when the bag is plenty loaded. The so-not-fun of getting to be an old fart...
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Re: Bags are like rabbits

Post by RevJohn on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:18 pm

I still save the plastic bags for use as garbage bags in small cans. I just recognize that before I use them as such, I will need to check them carefully for holes. The "carefully" part was added after I once loaded used cat litter into one with a small hole. The hole was small to the eye, but the stream of cat litter all the way out the front door was not.

What I can't figure out is why the concept of "no ketchup" seems impossible for fast-food cashiers to grasp. Myself, I love ketchup, and and think they often don't put on enough of the stuff. However, my wife does not, and is, of course (because of Murphy's Law and not because she is female, although any males who wish to use the latter interpretation, feel free, but AT YOUR OWN RISK), is fussier about such things than I am. So I have learned to inspect her burgers and sandwiches before I leave the counter, and 2/3 of the time find EXTRA ketchup, ONLY ketchup, EVERYTHING (including pickles, pineapples, Ranch dressing, hot fudge sauce, lizards, mucus, etc.) but ketchup, and so forth. Then I have to send it back and stand there and wait, until the clerk finally notices me standing there shooting arrows of annoyance out of my eyes, and asks what I'm waiting for, and then usually has to send back ANOTHER order for a burger with no ketchup, and then (lather, rinse, repeat; you get the idea). Blow Up
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