Even More on Carrier Bags

This is the post I know you’ve all been waiting for!  Further to my previous two posts on carrier bags, I now have something more to add.

Back in August I said that my local supermarket had stopped providing free carrier bags and everyone jumped on me by saying you can buy them for only 5p.  Only I couldn’t, because my supermarket wasn’t selling them.  But now they’ve given us an alternative: a strong, American-style paper bag with handles that looks like this:

They cost 23 cents each.  Last night I bought one because I found myself needing a couple of bottles of milk, a bottle of some sugary fizzy shite that I drink, and a bottle of wine and I didn’t have room in my gym bag.  As I was walking the few hundred metres home I noticed the handles were cutting into my hand, and that carrying more than one in each hand would be damned near impossible.  Plus they’d lose all their strength if they got wet.  You know what I did with it when I got home?  I put it straight in the bin.  What the hell am I going to use it for?  It is too big when folded flat to go into a pocket, and it’s useless for lining a bin, wrapping shoes, or any other purpose to which a secondhand plastic bag can be used.

Maybe it is because my supermarket is a “metro” style one in a nice suburb that these are on offer and traditional carrier bags are unavailable, but I am still convinced that whoever decided free plastic bags should be replaced by inferior paper bags at 23 cents each didn’t have poor, single mothers with no car in mind when they campaigned for it.  No, like my French acquaintance – who no longer speaks to me following an initial argument over the original post and another row over my mentioning her in the follow-up – they will be wealthy middle-class and living a short walk from the nearest supermarket either alone, or with a car in the basement.  Or both.  The types who buy overpriced organic avocados and wear complete Nike outfits when they go to their gym classes.  Now that’s probably enough snark for today.

Staying on topic, there was a rather revolting story doing the rounds on social media the other day about a camel in the UAE having eaten a load of plastic and dying.  I have looked for it online but it seems to be one of those stories that gets recycled every few years, only the name of the camel changes each time.  Anyway, the premise of these articles goes like this:

1. A camel has died in the UAE by eating discarded plastic, some of which is carrier bags.

2. GLOBAL BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS NOW!!!

Whereas my first reaction, having lived in the UAE, was how’s about they get the ignorant, arrogant, self-centred assholes who inhabit that part of the world to strop strewing litter all over the place?  This would do more for the wellbeing of camels than banning carrier bags in Parisian supermarkets, surely?

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10 thoughts on “Even More on Carrier Bags

  1. Buy an Aldi bag, one of the really tough cloth ones – lasts forever.

    On the flip side, those cardboard bags are great for collecting your paper/cardboard recycling in, so you can toss the lot out.

  2. Buy an Aldi bag, one of the really tough cloth ones – lasts forever.

    I’ve got one already, or something similar. I just don’t like carrying a bag around with me all day on the offchance I need to go to the supermarket in the evening.

  3. Its all a bit related to the mythical lake of plastic in the Pacific.

    Ah yes, the one the size of Texas which nobody has a photo of.

  4. And that bag is quite Pavlovian in conjuring up the succulent taste of freshly prepared NY deli pastrami sandwiches and bagels.

  5. but I am still convinced that whoever decided free plastic bags should be replaced by inferior paper bags at 23 cents each didn’t have poor, single mothers with no car in mind when they campaigned for it

    Amen.

  6. I’m not sure I have a very strong opinion on the charging for carrier bags (although I’m in Greece at the moment and there’s no charge here, giving the place a kind of laissez-faire, freewheeling, devil-may-care vibe I like).

    I do, however, resent the feeling that I am somehow failing at life when I’m paying for the shop at Tesco, and I realise I’ve forgotten the bags from the boot of the car *again*.

  7. My wife is careful to ensure that whichever supermarket she is in is witness to her using polybags from a different supermarket. If enough people did that the supermarkets might get the message.

  8. I do, however, resent the feeling that I am somehow failing at life when I’m paying for the shop at Tesco, and I realise I’ve forgotten the bags from the boot of the car *again*.

  9. My wife is careful to ensure that whichever supermarket she is in is witness to her using polybags from a different supermarket.

    Your wife is a genius.

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