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Paper, plastic or pennypinching clothed in sanctimonious green twaddle?


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.

January 27, 2009 — 6:55 pm
Comments: 41