round and round we go…

Plastic is the devil.  Which is interesting, considering that plastic was introduced as the savior of the environment.  “Use plastic bags to carry your groceries and you’ll be saving trees, the world, and, therefore, your souls.”  But, now we’ve learned the error of our ways and it is on to the next.  Round and round we go…

So, in California a law has been signed that outlaws the use of plastic bags in big chain stores starting next July, and rolled out to all stores in 2016.  Instead, consumers are being urged to use cloth bags or pay a surcharge for the use of paper bags.  (Wait, aren’t paper bags bad for the environment too?  Isn’t that why we started using plastic in the first place.  Now I’m confused…  But, I’m sure the ten cents per bag is being used to fund tree planting operations, right?  I’m sure that makes it okay.)

But, since we have proven to be shortsighted on these decisions in the past (really, who could have known all those plastic bags would wind up in riverbeds and clinging to the fences and shrubs that line our roads?) it does beg the question: when cloth bags are determined to also be bad for the environment (water wasted washing them?) or our health (unwashed or improperly washed bags make lovely homes for salmonella) what device for carrying our groceries will be forced upon us next?

How about reusing cardboard boxes to store and transport groceries like Costco and Trader Joe’s do?  Since the stores receive their goods in boxes in the first place, what happens to those?  They should definitely be given out to consumers to transport the goods rather than manufacturing new cloth bags for everyone to buy, spoil, and trash.  Right?  (I suggest buying copious amounts of stock in cardboard companies right now!  Buy early and often, as I always say.  (Yes, I say the same about voting.))  And then, being good stewards of the environment, as we have unanimously shown over the course of human “civilization,” I’m sure all those consumers would recycle the cardboard boxes after they were done with them.  Right?  (They certainly wouldn’t find their way to landfills or riverbeds or city streets…)

Though, there probably aren’t enough boxes to accommodate all purchases on a daily basis, so that option isn’t entirely feasible.  Dilemma, am I right?  But, why do we need bags (or boxes) at all?  Everything was in a cart (or buggy, if you prefer) or basket in the store, why can’t we all just push the carts to our cars and load everything up directly like that?  The onus should be on car manufacturers to install grocery receptacles in trunk spaces rather than trying to figure out how to get the goods from the store to the car in the first place.  We already do that.  Every time.  The goods always show up at our cars (like magic), so why do we need something additional to make that happen?  We don’t!  Problem solved.

We in the kingdom plan on taking that route, forgoing bagging contraptions altogether: one less thing to worry about!  (I’m always forgetting those stupid reusable bags anyway.)  But, we’d love to hear your solutions.  Do you have a brilliant idea?  Do you have a ridiculous idea?  We are open for both and everything in-between.  This is California, after all.

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46 thoughts on “round and round we go…

  1. I had to do that one time, load all the groceries onto the back seat because I forgot my bags at Aldi and they didn’t have any spare boxes.

    (my car doesn’t have a trunk, as a hatchback, so backseat was the lesser of two awkwards)

  2. I’m actually on board with the banning of plastic bags after having seen pictures of the great trash island (or whatever it’s called) in the Pacific. Something’s gotta give.

    I use the reusable cloth bags. I haven’t had to wash them at all since I haven’t spilled anything on them.

    • I’m not sure it’s just about spills. If you put any fruit and veggies in them directly there are contaminants that can build up and turn into something unhealthy… Honestly, I don’t think I’m just making that up, I have heard that unwashed bags can house salmonella, but I haven’t done any of the research to back up that claim.

  3. Ah yes, the West coast being the progressive coast… Out here, the options are “paper or plastic”, which I remember from the early 2000s as well…
    Isn’t there a flaw in your plan, though? How will you get the groceries from your car into your house? I suppose if the future grocery receptacles could be removed and re-installed that would solve it.

    • From the car to the house? From the car parked in the garage through the back door directly into the kitchen? I guess one armload at a time. Hey, that will even get me some extra exercise. It’s great for the environment and for me! It’s a win-win.

    • What? I didn’t mean to delete the like button… whoops, I must have left it off by mistake. I’ll have to fix that.
      And, yes, we are very wasteful… which was kind of my point. Every time they think of something new that will be better for us and the environment, we figure out how to waste it, how to exploit it, how to turn it into something negative. It is our “gift” to the world.

      • You aren’t old. You are classic. Like rock and roll classic. 😀
        Someone at volleyball this afternoon “sir’ed” me. Crap, now I feel old. I think that was his intent. The jerk.

  4. I’m with Twin Daddy on this one. I use my own bags most of the time — but what about the messy stuff — the chicken, for example. For the rest of the stuff I agree, we need to cut down the plastic. But I don’t want e coli, either.

    • E coli!! That was it. Not salmonella (though perhaps it is a concern too.) And, yeah, meat products (even in their pre-wrappings) are very leaky and can definitely release some bad things into any device that is being re-used.
      I’m not against cloth bags. I was just trying to have a bit of fun with yet another nanny-state law.

  5. I am guilty of not using my cloth bags as much as I should. This is mostly because I forget to put them in my car after I use them. But, I do a significant amount of my shopping at Costco, and I do recycle my boxes when I come home… That counts, right?

    • I give you full credit! 😀
      We have cloth bags that live in all of our cars, so even if we forget to take all of them with us, there is usually at least one or two that we can take in with us.

  6. I’m the kind of person who tends to show up at the grocery store without her list… or wallet… or shoes, and certainly without her cloth bags. I also like paper bags, they make great under the sink garbage bags, and without my paper bags I’d have to buy plastic garbage bags and that just seems silly.

    • I’ve been told that most paper bags are made from recycled materials already so they aren’t cutting down any more trees for us to use those. So, I’m on board with user paper bags again! I’m just not going to pay 10 cents per bag. I’ll buy bulk and bring my own with me. 😉

    • That would be an interesting study – what is actually worse for the environment – the waste from the excessive packaging for online deliveries and the waste of gas and release of carbon dioxide to get the delivery trucks to my door? Or… the extra water needed to properly clean a cloth bag? Or… recycyled material paper bags? Or… single use plastic bags?

  7. i agree about the plastic, as well as the germy illness from unwashed bags. i just ask for paper, and if an item doesnt need a bag,, I tell them not.to bag it.

    • Hooray for sanity amongst the madness. Yes, I’m always telling them I don’t need a bag. I’m not sure why I bother, though, considering the checkers seem intent upon putting a single item in a bag and calling it good enough and moving on to the next item/bag, and on and on…

  8. We use the re-usable ones. I have some pretty cool re-usable ones. At Costco I do take the groceries to the car and bag them myself in my re-usable bags at the car. It works out just fine. I do forget them sometimes when I go to the store, but they work, and we’re good with that. 🙂

  9. Once upon a time in the UK, Sainsbury’s stores would put their cardboard boxes at the back by the checkouts for the customers to use. Now, however, they’re not allowed to do that because of health & safety and fire risks and other such annoyances.

    And when I was a kid, my parents would always take reusable bags shopping with them. It was the norm. I guess we’ve just got out of that habit and got too used to the convenience of being able to pick up bags in the store.

  10. All right, DJ, I’m claiming the crown on this one. I have a push cart that I take to the grocery store. I push it around, and collect my groceries, then take them through checkout and replace them. I wheel that puppy right into my kitchen and put it all away. Then I wipe down the cart nad store it for next time.

    I’ll be just over here, doing a touchdown dance. 😀

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