While I am not the first to champion the banning of plastic bags at retail stores, (in fact, the idea is gaining some serious traction according to this National Geographic article) I can't help but "pile on" and share another frustration with the "eco"-clogging trash we call plastic bags.
They promote waste. They themselves promote their own overuse and waste. They are so convenient that they are always the sacker's first option and they are so unreliable that they encourage the sacker to load only a few items into each one. So the grocer uses them more often and uses more and more in each use. This is the exact opposite of the brown paper sack of yesterday whose packing was nearly an art, with competition among sackers to see who could get the most stuff into the smallest space. (Ask David Letterman if you don't believe me)
In our home, most often, we use the "re-usable" bag that we take with us to the grocery time and again, but, recently I visited my favorite Kroger on Shepherd and was in a bit of a hurry. By the time I got my cart unloaded onto the conveyor, the sacker was fast at work. Not even offering paper or plastic, simply taking the easy route by using plastic. I did not stop her, but I should have because I was simply astounded to realize when I got home that my 28 purchased items were sacked into 13 separate bags. That's barely two items per bag. That shows a complete lack of concern and a lack of effort by the sacker. With as much as our household does to help the environment, I was truly angered by the waste.
Another Waste Note - Not dissimilar to this is the recent mailing I received from Chase regarding the transition from WaMu. I held three accounts at WaMu and received a separate mailing for each account. Each mailing weighed was about 4 ounces of paper and only one page in each was account specific. Couldn't a bank, with ALL OF MY PRIVATE DATA on hand, figure out that all three accounts were held by the same individual and send just one comprehensive mailing? What a waste.
Follow Up!! - On my next two visits to my favorite Kroger Signature I skipped the re-usable bags (for the sake of science) and made sure to insist on paper. On the first visit I had 28 items in 2 bags and on the second I purchased 78 items which fit into a measly 7 bags (sodas not included in the totals). Further proof in my mind that not only is paper more environmentally efficient, it is practicaly more efficient, as well!