Paper or plastic? Neither

Whole Foods just bought the Wild Oats store in Santa Fe. In a possibly unrelated move, they stopped giving their customers the choice between the two kinds of shopping bags; apparently, the long-standing debate about which one is worse has finally been settled: it’s the plastic. Which got me thinking — why not do away entirely with free, store-provided bags?

In Germany, for example, everybody brings their own bags to the supermarket; sturdy bags that are made to last for years, or nets that easily fit into one hand but that are strong and can hold tons of stuff. They look pretty, too. And if you forget to bring one? Or if you don’t know you’re supposed to bring your own bags (as happened to me)?  Well, you try to pile up your groceries in your arms, some of them inevitably drop to the ground, the line of customers waiting for you to get the hell out of the way becomes noticeably impatient, and the look on the cashier’s face threatens you with imminent extinction. Finally, she tosses you a bag, you stuff your items in as fast as you can, and try to quickly leave the scene of your crime and embarrassment — but NO!!! YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THE BAG!

And that’s how it should be. Believe me, you won’t forget your bags.

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art-lover photographer
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