I like coupons. Recently I went to Rite Aid to use my $2-off coupon for two Pantene products, which just so happens to be my shampoo and conditioner of choice. I reminded the man at the counter to not give me a bag- I’d put the bottles in my reusable bag I always carried with me or even just chuck them in my purse.
I also had to remind the man to use my coupon, and somehow in the process of handing over my coupon and paying for my shampoo the man snuck the bottles into a plastic bag.
Several weeks ago I went to Duane Reade to pick up a candy bar. Of course they had a buy one get one half-off sale so I indulged in a second candy bar. (I then proceeded to go back to work and eat two full-sized candy bars which I don’t recommend.) Once again, in the act of paying for my candy, the woman at the register snuck my two candy bars into a plastic bag. It honestly would have been easier for me to hold the bars in my hand.
I’m often annoyed by my constant and failing battle with avoiding plastic bags.
Did I want a bag for my small candy bars? No. And most of society probably didn’t.
Did I want a bag for my jumbo-sized shampoo and conditioner? Probably. But wait! I had a huge purse with me and I would just chuck them in there.
Is a reusable bag more awesome than a plastic bag? YES. A plastic bag has to be carried in your arms, while a reusable bag can be lugged over your shoulder for easy transport- especially valuable in the city or when you are trying to unload every grocery bag in one haul.
I have no idea why but associates always rush to put my stuff in a sucky plastic bag. I always go to the counter making a conscious effort to ask them for no bag, and sometimes it still winds up in a bag!
There has been debate over whether or not NYC should even allow plastic bags anymore, or charge a 10 cent fee per bag. Personally I’m fine with banning bags or charging fees for them, but there is another, much easier thing we could be doing that I’m amazed isn’t promoted more often. Force retail associates to ask us if we want a bag.
We should have posters next to that ’employees must wash hands’ sign that say ’employees must ask customer if they want a bag.’ (Perhaps not in the actual bathroom, but you catch my drift.)
I think many people will start to realize that they actually don’t want a bag, because they are sick of looking that that pile of 40 bags they already have in their closet that they will eventually just throw away next spring cleaning. Or because a reusable bag holds more at once. Or because all you got was a pack of gum and why would anyone need a bag for that?
Just think of how many bags we could save if we just were given a choice in whether or not we wanted one before we got one.