I have this thing about plastic grocery bags. I hate them. They don't hold my groceries together in the back of the car, allowing everything to roll all over the place when I take corners. Stores use WAY too many of them. But the worst thing about all those bags is how many of them I see every day tied up in some tree somewhere. I cringe when I see a grocery bag entwined in a tree limb, flapping in the breeze.
I remember when they started the changeover from paper to plastic. There was a lot of debate, and every store made an effort to ask their customers, "paper or plastic?" Remember those powdery-feeling biodegradable bags? What ever happened to those? (I remember reading that they weren't that much better than the regular ones. I dunno though.)
So, I try to avoid getting plastic bags at the store, and when I see them in trees and bushes and whatnot, I pick them up. I save the bags we do get, and bring them back to the store to recycle. I try to bag my own groceries, because when I ask the bagger kid to do it, they sigh at me.
Today, I went to Market Basket, and bought groceries for our dinner tonight. I asked for paper bags. The kid put two items in a paper bag, and then, I swear, put the other items into plastic bags, and put them into the paper bag. He individually wrapped, in plastic, the eggs, the milk, the chicken (ok, raw chicken, I can see that) and the bottle of hand soap. I worked at a grocery store once, and I was told that soaps are separately bagged so as not to contaminate the food. But seriously, how much contamination can happen in a ten minute car trip? How often do plastic bottles of hand soap burst open in the back of our cars?
So after I checked out, I pulled out of the register area, pulled over my cart, and rebagged my bags, grabbing a bag from a nearby register. Now I have four bags that have been used for two seconds, but they're wet and rumpled. They can't use them again, so I sadly hand them to the manager to put them in the bag recycling bin.
Join me, America. Boycott plastic grocery bags. Pick 'em up when you see them. Endure the hateful stares from bag boys while saving the planet.