I’ve Got This One in the Bag

Paper or plastic? If your shopping habits are anything like mine, it’s a question you answer several times a month.

The question I’d prefer to answer is: “How would you like your groceries bagged?”

Grocery cashiers and baggers are generally hardworking people, and I’m sure they watch the mandatory training video on ‘How to Bag Groceries’, but I feel like many of them could use a refresher.

I try not to be too picky – as long as the eggs aren’t broken and the bread isn’t squished – but lately even that seems like Mission Impossible.

The other day I watched as a bagger slipped my eggs into a bag along with two heavy cans of beans and an expensive and fragile specialty light bulb! I winced, carried it as gingerly as possible, and repacked the whole thing as soon as I got to my car.

As one kindred internet spirit wrote: “This gripe goes back to prehistoric days when the first cave boy bagger put the pterodactyl eggs in the same bag with the brontosaurus ribs.” Just as annoying is when a bagger uses what seems like a hundred different bags, one for each item, to avoid the risk of bagging incompatible items together.

I’m not a fan of those thin, stretchy plastic bags. Call me crazy, but I swear they’ve gotten much thinner in recent years. Even the employees at my local grocery store agree:

The customer in front of me had a cart full of groceries. As the bagger lifted the final bag for her, its bottom gave way, sending the contents crashing to the floor. “They just don’t make these bags like they used to,” the bagger explained to the customer. “That was supposed to happen in your driveway!”

With haphazard bagging practices and the abundance of weak bags, there might be something to all of these Plastic Bag Bans.

groceriesThat’s right – plenty of coastal communities on the West and East coasts (and many countries overseas) have banned their stores from giving out thin plastic bags, forcing customers to rely on paper, or reusable bags for groceries.

Reusables are certainly eco-friendly, and stylish,if you can remember to bring them in from your car. But, me? I love a good paper bag.
Maybe it’s nostalgia from those days when I used them to cover all of my school books – nothing takes colored pencils, glitter, and glue quite like a classic brown paper bag.

They’re also useful for craft projects, making your own custom gift wrap, and making patterns. And, they double as great disposable trash cans or recycling bins when camping or having a party.

Best of all, since they are biodegradable, you can even use them to control the weeds in your garden, or press them into service as compost containers. Now that’s “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in its purest form!

While some things are no joke (like the environmental impact of plastic bags or
the risk of smashed, smooshed, and splattered groceries, if you look closely, you’ll find plenty of humor at your local supermarket. Here are 21 supermarkets with fun-loving, creative employees that will have you laughing out loud.

Then there’s this guy (right). His store tips are pretty darn funny. My best supermarket tip? Place your grocery items on the conveyor belt in the groupings you want for each bag. And don’t buy canned goods and light bulbs on the same day!

Happy Monday,