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A million bags


Fat Guy
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As much as I try and reuse the plastic bags for other things (garbage, etc.), I just accumulate them faster than I can use them. So much for trying to be more green.

Most thrift stores do not have a budget for bags, and are happy to receive donations in the form of "a whole lot of bags in a bag" and are rather grateful. We can only hope that the recipeents of these bags will either reuse or recycle them. BTW, the thrift shops in my neck of the woods will accept either plastic or paper.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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The other bagging pet peeve I have is with liquor. Many of the larger size bottles now come in plastic bottles. I can understand in the "old days" when you bought several glass bottles, each was inserted into a paper sleeve to protect it from clanking against the other glass bottles in the same bag. Why on earth does my plastic bottle of vodka need a paper bag to protect itself against the plastic 2-Liter sitting next to it?

I don't know Ohio, but WV laws mandate that all liquor products be put into opaque bags that obscure the contents (which usually means a paper bag). I guess that way Puritans don't have to let anyone know what they have been buying. I suppose the origin of that law was to keep children from seeing the labels on liquor or some other such crap. That may be the case in Ohio as well.

I have started carrying a small cooler at all times, and my bags go in there. The cooler is helpful in the summer when temps are often over 90 degrees, and convenient for other items as well. It's been working out quite nicely.

Edited by Darcie B (log)
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The other bagging pet peeve I have is with liquor. Many of the larger size bottles now come in plastic bottles. I can understand in the "old days" when you bought several glass bottles, each was inserted into a paper sleeve to protect it from clanking against the other glass bottles in the same bag. Why on earth does my plastic bottle of vodka need a paper bag to protect itself against the plastic 2-Liter sitting next to it?

I don't know Ohio, but WV laws mandate that all liquor products be put into opaque bags that obscure the contents (which usually means a paper bag). I guess that way Puritans don't have to let anyone know what they have been buying. I suppose the origin of that law was to keep children from seeing the labels on liquor or some other such crap. That may be the case in Ohio as well.

You may very well be right on this one about it being a state law.

However, that begs the question ...

If everyone is using plastic bags that you can more or less see into, doesn't the sight of a paper bag about the shape of a bottle tip you off that there is liquor inside?

Damn Puritans. :blink:

Edited by tino27 (log)

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Multi-bag blight is real.

On top of having to head off at the pass the Helping Hand putting asparagus UPSIDE DOWN with a #10 can of Italian tomatoes on top.

It is in fact EASIER to bring one's own, esp. from the retrograde perspective of standing there with the multi-bags a-billowing, inducing the forgotten-bag brain scream and concomitant self-recrimination.

Multi-bag blight occurring simultaneously, whilst, at the same time as, massive Green agitprop. Deep-underground counterprotest, with agents installed as baggers across the nation?

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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I have recently switched to using Sobey's bags. I admit it was not for any altrustic save the planet virtue, but because I love those bags! They hold three times what a plastic bag does, and I can now usually get out of the store carrying one or two of those bags instead of the 16 bags I'd otherwise have. Which means I can carry them myself and don't need a grocery cart to haul them out, thereby saving another step of having to return the grocery cart. (hey when it's -15C outside, every step counts!)

They also have a couple of neat inside pockets for smaller items. It also means I make less trips to the car to bring stuff in. They are as strong as an ox and Sobey's guarantees them so if they ever break, I just have to bring it in and they'll give me a new one. A lot of the environmentally friendly bags I've seen at stores like the Great Canadian Superstore (or Loblaws by any other name), are pretty small, so I'd need almost as many of them as I would plastic.

I love these bags. They sit on the shelf by my back door so I can remember to take them every time I go shopping. I even bought some to take and keep at the cottage this year.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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We're pretty good about bringing our three canvas bags into Trader Joe's where we hope to win the drawing for a $25 gift certificate! Most of the shoppers at TJ's bring their own bags. I even saw one woman using her Whole Foods bag at TJ's. Our bags go right back into the back seat of the car after unloading them. However, we usually forget to take the bags into other stores, even though they are close at hand. One of the local gorcery chains credits you $.05 for each bag you bring along.

Since we still end up with plastic or paper bags from some of our shopping trips, they go to good use as trash bags or kitty litter disposal bags.

Folks seem to manage to shop at Costco and Sam's Club without bags. It more stores stopped providing bags or charged for them we might begin to really make a dent in the bag problem.

KathyM

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I also see way too many bags being used, be they paper or plastic. I shop in suburban grocery stores. I have a car. But I don't want to have a lot of stuff to carry because it's two flights of stairs up to my apartment, and making one trip from the detached garage is better than having to make more than one.

A double bag won't really bug me, though, as it's still effecitvely one bag to carry. Yeah, useually it's wasteful, but it doesn't make my task of carrying mor difficult so I tend to sluff it off.

Usually, I will look at my groceries and see what I have. If I think they can all fit in one paper bag (which holds more than a plastic bag), I'll tell them "try to get it all in one paper bag". Sometimes they manage, other times they don't. It's also common for me to consolidate the bags at my car or even before I leave the checkout lane.

I DO have a reusable bag. But I hardly ever use it. I always forget it, or decide to swing by the grocery store while I'm already out. Keep it in my car? Yeah.. Sure. That would work. If I remembered to take it back TO the car after emptyign it out from a trip to the store. :unsure:

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I wonder why today's bags are so thin and crummy? Is it because they're trying to be environmentally friendly? If so, that would be ironic because the upshot of using thin, crummy bags is that supermarkets use three times as many of them to pack our groceries.

The little-holes issue is also vexing. Those holes, which are ubiquitous, make it hard to reuse the thin, crummy bags as trash bags because the bags have built-in leaks. There's not much I can think of to do with them. (As opposed to produce bags, which are excellent for pet waste, diapers and such.)

The idea of reusable bags is appealing to me on a philosophical level, but on a practical level the dealbreaker is pests. At least in my New York City apartment (which I assume isn't nearly as bad as the average Florida home), any bags left lying around with even a hint of an aroma of food residue inside are magnets for pests.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I wonder why today's bags are so thin and crummy? Is it because they're trying to be environmentally friendly? If so, that would be ironic because the upshot of using thin, crummy bags is that supermarkets use three times as many of them to pack our groceries.

The little-holes issue is also vexing. Those holes, which are ubiquitous, make it hard to reuse the thin, crummy bags as trash bags because the bags have built-in leaks. There's not much I can think of to do with them. (As opposed to produce bags, which are excellent for pet waste, diapers and such.)

The idea of reusable bags is appealing to me on a philosophical level, but on a practical level the dealbreaker is pests. At least in my New York City apartment (which I assume isn't nearly as bad as the average Florida home), any bags left lying around with even a hint of an aroma of food residue inside are magnets for pests.

That's partly why I like the Sobey's bags. most of the bags I've seen have been canvas or fabric of some sort. the Sobey's bags are some sort of plastic or poly or something I don't know, I don't have them in front of me to check as I'm currently in New York), but they can be washed out if something's been spilled in them. I don't have a huge problem with pests at home but the cottage is a different story, so thanks for reminding me to make sure I wash them out after using them.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I wonder why today's bags are so thin and crummy? Is it because they're trying to be environmentally friendly?

Nope. The thin and crummy ones are being used because they are cheaper. Stores are trying to save a buck. But in the end, it's likely costing the sore more because of the doubling up issues -- because they're so thin and crummy.

The heavier bags are still available.

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I wonder why today's bags are so thin and crummy? Is it because they're trying to be environmentally friendly? If so, that would be ironic because the upshot of using thin, crummy bags is that supermarkets use three times as many of them to pack our groceries.

The little-holes issue is also vexing. Those holes, which are ubiquitous, make it hard to reuse the thin, crummy bags as trash bags because the bags have built-in leaks. There's not much I can think of to do with them. (As opposed to produce bags, which are excellent for pet waste, diapers and such.)

The idea of reusable bags is appealing to me on a philosophical level, but on a practical level the dealbreaker is pests. At least in my New York City apartment (which I assume isn't nearly as bad as the average Florida home), any bags left lying around with even a hint of an aroma of food residue inside are magnets for pests.

That's partly why I like the Sobey's bags. most of the bags I've seen have been canvas or fabric of some sort. the Sobey's bags are some sort of plastic or poly or something I don't know, I don't have them in front of me to check as I'm currently in New York), but they can be washed out if something's been spilled in them. I don't have a huge problem with pests at home but the cottage is a different story, so thanks for reminding me to make sure I wash them out after using them.

Here you go Marlene - photos for you!

gallery_6903_111_18119.jpg

Sobey's bag - apple for size comparison

gallery_6903_111_36478.jpg

Inside view showing side pockets for bottles, baguettes, whatever.

The use and care label says they can be machine washed and dried flat and that they can be recycled.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Last Christmas my three sisters and I agreed to gift each other a clutch of reusable bags from our local grocery stores. Since we live in NY, Chapel Hill, NC, Sarasota, FL, and Portland OR we each have a collection of mildly exotic grocery bags.

My favorite is the Hannaford bag with a big picture of a piece of pie on it and the phrase-

"life is short, eat dessert first"

I HAVE to return my bags to the car after unloading. Otherwise, I forget them.

I still wind up with quite a bunch of those cheap plastic bags. It's a good thing though, what else would I use for my two doggies' POOP containers?

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for "car shopping" trips, I have begun keeping a rubbermaid tote/milk crate/reinforced wicker basket or such in the car. The tote goes right into the grocery cart and then along to the checkstand. Yes, I tell the checker RIGHT AWAY that I have a box.

No one has ever complained about the 8 or 10 loose apples on the conveyer belt, nor the request to have the detergent in a bag but nothing else.

The only problem is when I need to purchase many "heavy" goods... then it would be better to have several smaller boxes.

For "walking shopping" trips, I have a few cloth bags which fold into their own pouch. The fit into a good-sized handbag or backpack. No, I don't concern myself with whose logo is on which bag. It really doesn't matter.

Karen Dar Woon

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Last Christmas my three sisters and I agreed to gift each other a clutch of reusable bags from our local grocery stores. Since we live in NY, Chapel Hill, NC, Sarasota, FL, and Portland OR we each have a collection of mildly exotic grocery bags.

My favorite is the Hannaford bag with a big picture of a piece of pie on it and the phrase-

"life is short, eat dessert first"

I HAVE to return my bags to the car after unloading. Otherwise, I forget them.

I still wind up with quite a bunch of those cheap plastic bags. It's a good thing though, what else would I use for my two doggies' POOP containers?

I really like this idea. Want to do it on here? It could be fun. I can offer up Trader Joe's or Mom's bags, I have one each, brand new. I'll take pics. We could do it like one of those stupid dishtowel chain mails. :biggrin:

ETA: I keep a laundry hamper in the back of my trunk to keep things organized, and I have taken it into Costco in the past to act as a box when I knew I was getting heavy things. It's so beat up it couldn't possibly be mistaken as their's!

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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this thread convinced me ..I am going to gather bags from around the house and just put them in my trunk ..then take them in the store when I shop and actually start using them again

there is not a single reason on the planet I can not do this and why I got so complacent about it is beyond me

thanks for the reminder

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Another factor in this discussion is that my town, for one, requires that all trash be tied up in plastic bags inside the garbage can. If you put the trash out loose, they don't collect it. I'm assuming that a lot of towns operate thus.

I'm all for reducing use of plastics (and reducing waste in general), but they aren't going away.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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When I'm left to my own devices, I try to use common sense, keeping frozen items together, keeping the weighty items split evenly and filing the bags with lighter items, etc.  If somebody is buying one or two items I'll always ask if they want it bagged before doing so.  But 95% or more of my costumers drive right up to the front door and very few have to worry about walking anywhere with their stuff.

exactly why i use the "Bag Your Own" line and tote my own - unless i need paper bags to put my junk mail in for recycling - then i bag in those :rolleyes:

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

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Linda Ellerbee

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At least in my New York City apartment (which I assume isn't nearly as bad as the average Florida home), any bags left lying around with even a hint of an aroma of food residue inside are magnets for pests.

Ummmm, Steven have you ever seen a Florida cockroach? Those suckers are huge and will find even a crumb of food.

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My store also sells these. I bought 1 when it was on sale for 3.99. I like them more than the bags, but then again I must remember to return it to my car.

gallery_25969_665_404742.jpg

I wondered how they'd know I'd already paid for it when I brought it into the store. Here's how.

gallery_25969_665_173633.jpg

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I suspect, but cannot confirm, that much of the single item bagging has to do with shrinkage issues. Anything not bagged is huge (case of beer, etc.) and gets a big red sticker.

Publix and Winn Dixie both have recycle bins for bags.

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We reuse our bags for pet waste - and to be honest, grab extras cause we run out. I have looked into "biodegradable" bags for pet waste - and would be more than willing to buy them if someone can convince me that they will degrade in a landfill (since I've heard complaints that they really don't).

On the biodegradable note, look for these: BioBags

I can personally attest that these do break down. We keep a small bin inside for collecting bits to go to the compost heap and use these bags as they can get composted. If the contents are damp, the bags start to break down within a couple of days so we have to plan accordingly.

As for the bagging, not only does Trader Joe's actively encourage reuseable bags but I'm convinced they are better trained on bagging. I never seem to leave there with more than two bags, no matter how much I buy. It's either magic, or really good bagging skills.

Edited by pansophia (log)

"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

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food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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When we lived in Chicago, we saved up our plastic grocery bags and then dropped them off at Dominick's plastic bag recycling bin.

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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It's a problem in New York City too. At the bigger grocery stores in the outer bouroughs the cachiers robotically double and tripple bag everything, and divide the the smallest loads into more bags than anyone can carry.

I try to bring a backpack to my local ghetto supermarket, but half the time security makes me check it, and pick it up on the way out--which completely defeats the purpose!

Whole foods does it right: they single bag as a matter of policy, ask you how many you want, and their bags are excellent. They're the ones I reuse for all kinds of things around the house.

I like the idea of a tax on bags. Something like 20 cents ... just enough to force people to consider if they really need that lemon double bagged.

Notes from the underbelly

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