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Paper, plastic or pennypinching clothed in sanctimonious green twaddle?

weaselbags

Has this come to the States yet? Stores in Britain don’t automatically give you a bag any more. I don’t mean one or two items at a little store, I mean the supermarket and a whole cartload of groceries.

They sell these “permanent” bags at about a pound a throw. I wouldn’t mind that so much if they didn’t usually sport some vomitous greenie slogan in puke-colored ink.

Some stores will give you freebie plastic bags if you ask. One we frequent won’t even do that unless you spend X amount, although they will give you an empty box for free (boxes that, Uncle B says, would otherwise cost them plenty to get rid of, as they are technically considered “industrial waste” by the local council). When we go to that one, if I haven’t remembered to cram a bag in my pocket, we stack our purchases and walk out with them in our hands in big, tottery pyramids.

That particular store has a sign outside thanking us for helping them keep umpty-ump million plastic bags out of landfills this year. Huh. I would be happier if they had the honesty to thank us for saving them umpty-ump pounds on their bag costs. A couple of pence times umpty-ump million isn’t chump change.

Now, I’m all for re-using stuff, and carrier bags are especially obnoxious — what with their mysterious power to insinuate themselves up trees, stuck to fences, down the gullets of birds or floating majestically out to sea (is it my imagination, or did the greens stick us with plastic bags because paper ones were tree murder?). We re-use carrier bags all the time, mostly for packaging up smelly kitchen waste to sneak into public dumpsters, on account of our trash pickup is only every two weeks (another rant for another day).

But I cannot abide having my leg humped by a bunch of sanctimonious piffle about saving the planet when a) I am, at times, grossly inconvenienced while b) the stores are making a nice bit of scratch out of it, thank you and c) it does fuck-all, really, for The Planet.

On the upside, however, Uncle B and I had a stroll around town this morning. He bought a bag of fat balls for the birds at the first stop and wasn’t given a bag. So the rest of the day, I got to say things like, “I say, did you leave your fat balls on the counter in the bakery?” and “would you like me to carry your fat balls for a while?” and “let’s throw your fat balls in the back and go for a walk on the beach.”

So there’s that.

sock it to me

Comments


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: January 27, 2009, 7:09 pm

I like the reusable bags, although they aren’t quite as durable as they appear to be. The local store sells em for a couple bucks here and you get a few pennies off for each bag you use again. They hold a lot more than the usual paper bag though, so you can really over load them.

 


Comment from Mrs. Hill
Time: January 27, 2009, 7:17 pm

I have canvas bags older than some of the greenie leftists that now want to legislate their use! And yes, it’s not happened yet, but it’s coming.

“fat balls” — *snorfle*

 


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: January 27, 2009, 8:35 pm

I’d rather use a canvas bag myself, especially since I usually buy only a few days’ worth of groceries at a time. But I don’t see why I should have to pay for it when plastic bags are free to me, when I would be saving them money by using the canvas bags, and when I already spend a ton of money at the grocery store (they have gotten far more than the cost of one of those bags out of me, I assure you).

If they gave me one free (maybe mail out a coupon, one free canvas bag with a $50 purchase, limit one per customer?), I would use it. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay them for the privilege of saving them money.

 


Comment from nicole
Time: January 27, 2009, 8:45 pm

I got some free when the stores were giving them out to encourage “green” behavior. I generally forget to take them with me when I shop. But I do use them to carry stuff to work and back. 🙂 Luckily, the stores haven’t gotten around to charging for plastic bags or paper.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 27, 2009, 9:03 pm

We managed to buy one today that had a British Museum imprint today, so that was okay. Very nice Syrian lion thingie. Though Uncle B had read a very negative review of the show that the bag’s image was from (something about evil Americans looting the Middle East’s treasures under cover of the Iraq war or something).

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: January 27, 2009, 9:21 pm

I have realized one ought not to knock down the Green Movement.

The mark-up for “green” stuff like a hippie tax.

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 27, 2009, 9:44 pm

That’d be great, Muslihoon.

Providing only they had to pay it!

 


Comment from wendyworn
Time: January 27, 2009, 9:50 pm

What is wrong with you people! They are all canvas bag lovers Stoaty! GRRR. I refuse to get on the canvas bag brainwashing bandwagon! I like to reuse the paper bags for taking back the bottles and cans in (in Oregon you can take them back to the store for money! (that you pay up front for anyway)) and the plastic bags are good instead of paying for regular garbage bags! Besides, I’m pretty sure that biblically once canvas bags are REQUIRED here in the USA it will be the start of the Great Tribulation.

BAH!!!

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 27, 2009, 10:00 pm

They’re not even bloody canvas bags over here!

The damned hippies make you pay for some piece of slightly superior plastic junk that lasts three trips instead of one.

You know what really gets me? ‘Greens’ cannot win anything here in the UK, save the odd council seat in a university town where no one over 25 gets to vote. Yet somehow the verminous swine have managed to seize power.

There are days when I’d like to hunt them down and club them with baby seals.

 


Comment from Jill
Time: January 27, 2009, 10:48 pm

I’ve carried two macrame-looking shopping bags with me since the early 90’s. They expand like crazy and can carry a goodly amount of groceries.

These are they, or, these are them, or this is them:

http://www.guardianecostore.co.uk/images/newproducts/17718.jpg

 


Comment from wendyworn
Time: January 27, 2009, 11:01 pm

Jill! I clicked the link and now I’m blind!!!!

 


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: January 27, 2009, 11:06 pm

Plastics come from millions of years of decayed vegetation which we get out of the ground, by putting them back into landfills we’re just returning them to their natural habitat.

Millions of years from now, future generations will take them back out of the ground and use them for their groceries, garbage, etc., and then they too will return the plastic bags to mother earth for future generations to enjoy. 🙂

 


Comment from Jill
Time: January 27, 2009, 11:30 pm

Sorry, Wendy! Is this better?

http://www.4ourplanet.ca/Earthtone%20string%20bags.jpg

Mine are a dark cornflower-blue color.

 


Comment from wendyworn
Time: January 27, 2009, 11:33 pm

thanks i can see again 🙂

 


Comment from MCPO Airdale
Time: January 28, 2009, 12:18 am

My Missus made color-code bags for grocery shopping. Once the baggers in the Commissary figured out her color system, they really liked them. Her bags are larger than the one you buy *in* the store and much more sturdy. She’s been using them for years.

 


Comment from pandelume
Time: January 28, 2009, 12:38 am

Every two weeks??? WTF???

 


Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: January 28, 2009, 1:02 am

Ikea stopped providing the flimsy grocery-store plastic bags — they never gave them for free but they were only a few cents extra. Now you either have to buy one of their huge-ass semi-permanent bags that are made of some sort of not-paper, not-plastic stuff, and are wide and shallow in a style I’ve never seen in any other bag (so that everything in them threatens to spill out the sides, and the wideness of the bags means you keep whacking everything you go past). Or else you have to remember to tuck a grocery store bag in your purse, or be prepared to carry stuff out in your hands. This is for all that little stuff you can get at Ikea, like lamp cords and silverware and so on.

The grocery stores around here are on the canvas bag joyride (well, the bags are some sort of flimsy imitation canvas-like stuff that was made in China and no doubt contains lethal amounts of melamine, lead, arsenic, cyanide, and hydrochloric acid), or you can actually spend way too much money on a real canvas bag. I bought a couple to stuff my socks and things in and hang them in the closet (I don’t have a dresser in my tiny studio apartment). But I don’t like using them to get groceries — for one thing, if your meat package leaks, you have that bloodstain on your bag, ew. And you can’t wash the fake bags, they just fall apart. Also, I use the plastic bags for garbage, especially cat litter. Recycle, hell — my grandmother grew up on a farm in Vermont, there wasn’t a thing about saving, reusing, etc., that she didn’t know about. These people with their spend-more-to-save-more idiocy don’t know what they are doing.

 


Comment from Machinist
Time: January 28, 2009, 1:11 am

“verminous swine”
It’s eloquence like this that leaves me feeling like my IQ is a couple of points higher after reading a few of Uncle Badger’s comments. Muslihoon’s always make me want to enunciate more clearly. This site is a public treasure!

As for two week pickups, I read that some of the garbage collectors over there were making the homeowners empty their own bins into the truck to save strain on the collectors’ backs. How soon before you have to deal with that? Do you have officials inspecting your recycling yet?

 


Comment from TimB52
Time: January 28, 2009, 1:47 am

Our local Fred Meyer store sells re-usable bags made of recycled plastic, 89 cents for a small, 99 cents for large. Very nice actually. Black with an artsy-looking design depicting produce on it in gold. It looks and stands up like a paper grocery bag with canvas handles. Plastic insert to keep the bottom stiff. Very durable and machine washable even. I take them to Costco.

I can’t believe I just typed all that crap.

 


Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: January 28, 2009, 3:11 am

So the rest of the day, I got to say things like, “I say, did you leave your fat balls on the counter in the bakery?” and “would you like me to carry your fat balls for a while?” and “let’s throw your fat balls in the back and go for a walk on the beach.”

Oh, what a lucky, lucky man to be betrothed to a woman of such wit…

Uncle B, you are aware you can still have her deported, right?

As an aside, I think I shall market canvas bags that say “Fuck the Planet”…

 


Comment from Jill
Time: January 28, 2009, 8:40 am

“Would you like me to carry your fat balls for a while?”

Remember: inflection is EVERYTHING.

8)

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 28, 2009, 9:04 am

Thank you, Machinist 🙂

Where her Ladyship and I have settled, the local council is a bit half-hearted about all this hippy quackery, but they are still bossed around by central gummint, which means we suffer two weekly bin collections and all the rest of the laughable twaddle that has recently resulted in warehouse space having to be hired by councils to store all the plastic, glass and paper that no one knows what to do with.

Underpants – profit! (South Park)

Incredibly, all our wheelie bins have chips implanted so that one day ze bin polizei will be able to identify you as an Enemy of Nature for having mistakenly thrown the top of a baked bean can in with your Gaia-friendly hippy-mix.

There will, of course, be public trials…

 


Comment from memomachine
Time: January 28, 2009, 10:44 am

Hmmmm.

“As an aside, I think I shall market canvas bags that say “Fuck the Planet”…”

Where do I send the money? I want about 4-6 bags.

 


Comment from Machinist
Time: January 28, 2009, 10:47 am

“all our wheelie bins have chips implanted ”

And I recently read that NHS hospitals were flipping sheets between patients rather than changing them as a cost cutting measure. Priorities!

I fear the trail grows fresher as we follow in your footsteps.

 


Comment from Dawn
Time: January 28, 2009, 11:30 am

My grocer pays me when I bring my own bag. I get a five cent reduction for every bag I bring. Some part of my Jewish granmother comes out in me when I can save a few pennies. I shop with coupons and every penny I knock off my bill gives me extra bragging rights.

Mrs. Peel, what will you do if the supply chain breaks down? We are grocery hoarders here. I live in a predominantly mormon town. It’s all about having a year’s supply.
And since we are well-known for being decidedly unmormon, the looters won’t even bother with our house.

 


Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: January 28, 2009, 11:51 am

I shall resist the power to the very last bag. The same bastards who save the world one bag at a time, think nothing of jetting off for a vacation, leaving their Escalade at the airport long-term parking. Priorities in this world are so screwed up its unimaginable.

 


Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: January 28, 2009, 12:21 pm

This makes me a bad person.

I don’t go shopping. I order my groceries via SafeWay’s website. Costs me a few extra bucks but it’s really my only option, I don’t have a vehicle of my own and getting a few weeks’ worth of groceries – by myself – out of the store, onto the bus, and back to my apartment is ludicrous. And possibly highly amusing, at least for other people to watch.

Aaaaaaaaaaanyway. Some guy in a SafeWay VAN – not a dinky little environmentally-friendly car – comes to my apartment every few weeks with several plastic bags full of the stuff I need for a few weeks. I save about five of these bags – the ones that don’t contain milk, meats, or anything else that gets sweaty even at 70-degrees F – for carrying stuff around, usually convenience’s sake when taking food to work and even then they only last one trip, and throw the rest away.

That’s just me. My roommate does pretty much the same thing. Except we live within walking distance of his job, so he doesn’t have to take food to work, so he just throws all his bags away.

There are days when I go to take out the trash I expect Greenpeace to be protesting in the parking lot. 😛

 


Comment from wendyworn
Time: January 28, 2009, 12:27 pm

no nicholas, that does not make you a bad person. in fact, it totally makes you my hero!

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: January 28, 2009, 1:24 pm

Go Nicholas!

“And since we are well-known for being decidedly unmormon, the looters won’t even bother with our house.”

That’s why we stockpile weapons too. Just kidding!

We do it for when we overthrow the government.

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: January 28, 2009, 1:42 pm

“I like the reusable bags, although they aren’t quite as durable as they appear to be. “

Most supermarkets here will replace them (free of charge) if you take them back when torn or worn. Mind you, it’s the least they can do!

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: January 28, 2009, 1:45 pm

“We managed to buy one today that had a British Museum imprint today, so that was okay. Very nice Syrian lion thingie.”

Oh, is that the ‘Babylon’ exhibition? Well worth a look…

 


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: January 28, 2009, 2:51 pm

Isn’t ‘sanctimonious green twaddle’ somewhat tautological?

If you get a few blocks of lard and melt it down and then mix in some grain and peanuts, you can make your own fat balls. Actually, they’re more like fat shallow cylinders, but I don’t suppose it’d be too hard to fashion them into balls.

Of course that cuts out the walking-around-town-and-talking-about-fat-balls and the resulting monacle-into-tea-dropping and falling-off-penny-farthings and harrumphing-well-I-never element, which is no fun at all. No fun at all.

 


Comment from Dawn
Time: January 28, 2009, 3:58 pm

How hard would it be to fashion your fat balls into fat shallow cylinders, Gibby?

 


Comment from Allen
Time: January 28, 2009, 4:04 pm

I have this rather odd prediliction to annoy and/or confuse people. One of my favorites: at the store, when thay ask “paper or plastic?” Some good choices are, neither, tree bark, mineral, vegetable, bigger then a breadbox.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: January 28, 2009, 5:33 pm

Of course that cuts out the walking-around-town-and-talking-about-fat-balls and the resulting monacle-into-tea-dropping and falling-off-penny-farthings and harrumphing-well-I-never element, which is no fun at all. No fun at all.

LOL! I loved that.

 


Comment from Lipstick
Time: January 28, 2009, 6:49 pm

Yeah, Weas, I remember that the plastic bags were introduced to save the forests.

 


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: January 28, 2009, 9:42 pm

Dawn, if the supply chain breaks down, I will have my uncle kill me some food. Problem solved. *dusts hands together*

Seriously, I probably should stock up on preservable (is that a word?) foods. I tend to eat fresh stuff, which is why I go to the store so frequently – I have to eat it before it spoils, and then I have to get more.

 


Comment from Scott
Time: January 29, 2009, 11:49 am

Incredibly, all our wheelie bins have chips implanted

A good degaussing coil turned on and off a few times next to the bin (you will have to move it around a good bit to make SURE you get it) will take care of those chips… Just don’t do it anywhere near your house, or with anything more complex that a stick in your pocket…

They will also take care of the high-tech “helps it go” parts of the neighbor’s car if you flick it on and off over the hood in several spots… Not that I would ever suggest such a thing…

Unless your neighbor is a hippy…

 


Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: January 29, 2009, 6:51 pm

wendyworn: no nicholas, that does not make you a bad person. in fact, it totally makes you my hero!

Muslihoon: Go Nicholas!

Can’t say I’ve ever been anyone’s hero before. 😀 Victory is mine. 8)

 


Comment from Mikey NTH
Time: February 7, 2009, 2:12 pm

Actually the ‘chips in the wheelie bin/ashcan/trashcan’ thing can be a good way of getting revenge on a neighbor if you have mad ninja skillz. Just drop a few ‘prohibited items’ in the bin and scoot.

“Honest, constable, I didn’t put that bean tin in there!”
“Come along quietly, you fiend!”

 


Comment from benning
Time: September 6, 2009, 2:25 pm

I don’t have a car any more – trubbles, trubbles, trubbles – so I walk to the supermarket. I carry two of those cloth bags with me. Easier to carry than the plastic ones. Less cutting of one’s palms, y’know. And Alberstson’s actually refunds me five cents for each cloth bag I bring in to use. LOL

But the cashiers always seem a bit surprised when I lay the bags on top of my groceries. Like they don’t see them often.

Hmmm …

 

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