The unforeseen frustrations of the plastic bag ban

Life without plastic bags has started for many of us but this article?shows that it isn’t always easy and that some of the issues can be really annoying, as well as being unhygienic. quote:

I should know how to handle a self serve checkout. I’ve been swiping tins of tuna and weighing tomatoes for a decade now.

Prior to the bag ban, more often that not, I used the single use plastic bags provided. Which I would reuse. For something. At some point. Scout’s honour.

Now, dutifully, I bring my own bags. Usually a rag tag collection of worse-for-wear carrier bags and so-called green bags.

And here is where it’s all falling down.

You see, in these bags I bring from home, I might throw in a book for the bus ride; there might be a pen, or four, at the bottom. On the way to the supermarket I might pick up some greens from the grocer. Maybe some lunch.

After I’ve been around the aisles, I put my basket on one side of the self-serve and bags on the other. I go to swipe the first item. And all hell breaks loose. Chants and lights assault me. I am electronically berated for having an “unexpected item in the bagging area”. end quote.

Well, yes. I mean, how many reusable bags do you have to have? They are, by definition, reusable, which means that they can be used, not just many times, but also for many purposes. Doesn’t it? quote:

It’s actually that book, or those pens, or the onions from next door. But as far as the super sensitive bagging area is concerned, which knows the weight of every item you’ve purchased, I may as well have snuck a half kilo of rump into my reusable. end quote.

Or – as Rodney Hide will tell you – there may be a mouse lurking in the bottom of one of the bags, ready to jump out at the supermarket checkout. Yuk. quote:

So then comes the wait for a member of staff, currently occupied explaining to a shopper why, no, they can’t have a miniature toy because they have to spend over $30 and $28.50 just isn’t enough.

And then when they do come over, you get a glance of suspicion as your bags are rifled through to ensure there isn’t a surreptitious un-scanned Milky Way hiding at the bottom.

“You know your bags have to be empty when you pack them?” I’m helpfully told. end quote.

Who says? This is news to me. All I know is we now have to bring our own bags. Why do they have to be empty?

If they want empty bags at the checkout, then they can provide them for free. Preferably made of plastic. quote:

“Maybe put your bags on the floor and stack your items in the bagging area instead?” you’re not helpfully told.

So I do. And soon an unstable mountain of groceries is lying next to the checkout in the bagging areas which is sans actual bag.

A cucumber balancing on top of some lemons, ready at any moment to make a dive for the shop floor. Even if it stays in the bagging area, it’s perilously close to a discarded tissue, left by a previous shopper, stained worryingly red. Could be beetroot. Could be blood. Who knows? But my tomatoes are inching inextricably towards the abandoned, grimy Kleenex with every item I pile on top. end quote.

Ew. That is the other thing about plastic bags. Hygiene. quote.

I have another reason why it’s annoying. Sometimes I split my transactions between two cards ? stuff for me, stuff for home. The result is this same ? half full bags upsetting the electronics. end quote.

Yes. Small stuff, I know. First world problems, as many will say but nobody seems to have thought this whole thing through. They have just gone for a bit of virtue signalling, a nice chunk of cash savings, and to hell with the customers.

Customers don’t have to take all this lying down. Supermarkets are supposed to be about convenience. As soon as they lose that image, they are in trouble.

Someone raised the issue the other day that getting their shopping home on the bus is not going to be easy without plastic bags. I assume this means that it won’t be easy unless you have plenty of reusable bags, which you have to carry in your pocket if you are not going home by car. Complete with mice, or whatever.

But JAG has the answer.

JAG with shopping bags. Digital photo credit: Pixy

Great way to travel, JAG. But, hang on.

Is that a plastic bag I see before me?