this girl’s weblog

just me, my thoughts, and experiences.

paper or plastic?

I don’t like to complain, but this is hard not to discuss. I don’t consider myself a real green person- I recycle anything I can, but don’t have energy efficient appliances or vehicles; no compost pile (live in a condo); and drive a performance car (subaru WRX). I do what I can though and try to implement little things that can add up over my lifetime. I am concerned about my footprint on the earth and if we all make a few modifications, we can make a big difference.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no environmental evangelist but I was pretty perturbed when I was getting a couple items at Safeway last night. The checker was nice as usual, and then after swiping my safeway card and paying I noticed that the bag boy had put my few items into double bagged plastic.

I said, “Oh, do you not have paper bags any longer?”

“I didn’t know you wanted them, ” he replied.

“You didn’t ask which I preferred,” I responded.

“We don’t ask,” he said.

SINCE WHEN? Tell me, isn’t the one thing you can count on when you go into a grocery store, to hear the words “paper or plastic?” When did bag boys decide they could decide how I want to take home my groceries?

Maybe I’m overreacting but Safeway isn’t on my good side. They’ve done plenty of things in the past to aggravate me, and this just adds to the heap. I normally bring my own bags but didn’t have them with me. Am I overreacting?

After San Francisco passed a law recently banning plastic bags, you’d think a north bay grocery store would take the hint too. Maybe I have to introduce it up here!



  thinkingwoman wrote @

I don’t think you’re overreacting at all. There is a very good reason why there is even the option of having paper bags and I think it’s ridiculous that they aren’t asking. It takes a couple seconds longer, for heaven’s sake. I WORK as a cashier and it would not make that much difference to them.

I wish that we offered the option of paper bags. I do have several regular customers who bring their own bags, which I think is awesome. I also make it a point, as a cashier, to use as few bags as possible. It’s not much, but as you said, you do what you can.

Maybe you should send a letter or email to their corporate headquarters and complain about it? It never hurts, and it’s possible they are supposed to ask and just don’t.

  hipposkin wrote @

thats a great idea. i think i will! i’ll let you know if i get any response.

  thinkingwoman wrote @

Please do, I am considering writing letters to our local retailers too – who don’t even HAVE paper bags, for the most part. West Virginia is, sadly, not a hotbed of ecological responsibility! (Witness the prevalence of mountaintop-removal mining. Ugh.)

  hipposkin wrote @

I refrained last night! And, it felt good. I’m going to buy a few more cloth bags so I will always have one in my car. I like to pick stuff up on the way home.
how’s the weather in WV? Its foggy here in SF.

  thinkingwoman wrote @

Nasty here and rainy, it’s been that way for about four days now. NOT that I’m complaining; we need the rain! But I’m ready for a break. Though I did see a tiny spot of blue sky at lunch, which gives me hope. 🙂

I like the idea of keeping the bags in the car, I can never remember to grab mine. Keeping several in the trunk would at least ensure that I would only have to remember to put them back once every few weeks!

  Jim wrote @

Actually, the energy consumed in the production and distribution of paper bags exceeds that used for plastic; additionally the pulp used for the paper bags is largely unrecycled in order to maintain the bag’s strength. This report may interest you:

Basically, bringing your own bag is the way to go.

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