talkgroup

Bag culture

I just read about Manhattan Beach banning plastic bags. From the article:

That there are 217 licensed retail establishments in Manhattan Beach, CA, one of which was Target. The affect of this ruling will essentially require Target to use something other than plastic bags at it's retail store forcing them to enact a trial for a potentially better material and process.

This tickles me, because once on a road trip I stopped off at that Target. I was picking up a few items, like shaving razors and some gaming styluses. Seriously, it wasn’t much, I think four items in all. I told the cashier I didn’t need a bag. Ey started to put my stuff in a bag. I repeated, “It’s okay, I don’t need a bag.”

Eir response floored me, “Whoa, I didn’t mean to get you angry! I just thought you would want a bag!”

Susan was there, so I was able to verify in the parking lot that the interaction was really weird.

Anyhow, I deal with this all the time. I either don’t buy a lot, or I bring my own bag when I shop. I try to use less materials, but at least half the time the person in front of me double-bagging, with paper in plastic, or even worst, they buy a can of beans or a quart of creamer and ask for a plastic bag to carry it in.

I haven’t figured out a good way to approach those people, they seem either in a hurry or in robot mode, and I’ve found that when I challenge automatic responses it is taken as a critique of the person. Which I suppose it is. I like to have my automated responses pointed out to me…

I applaud cities that ban certain materials, I find that it improves both the immediate environment, as well as the sophistication of certain establishments. It is always a surprise to us when we travel outside of the Berkeley/Oakland/San Francisco area and see how much styrofoam there is. Once when we were at an IHOP in San Diego we asked if they had a paper to-go container. The wait person said they did, and brought out a styrofoam clamshell…

One more thing I want to point out: those opposed to the ban are called the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition. How hilarious is that?! :slight_smile: