Can I Have Some Groceries with My Plastic Bags?

So, I’m in the grocery store today. I just have to make a quick trip to pick up a few necessities, and I had only one bag with me in the car, but it was one of those string bags that can hold quite a lot. I figured it would probably hold almost the whole load. I get up to the register and hand the bag to the bagger, and I say, “See how much you can fit in there.” I think it’s clear that I want her to put as much in the string bag as possible to minimize the number of plastic bags I have to use.

What does she do? She puts about 4 things in the string bag and then packs everything else in plastic bags! It was clear to me that she hadn’t filled up the string bag I had brought nearly to capacity. I didn’t know what to do. I am usually a very anti-confrontational type, and I just didn’t have the nerve or the gumption or the whatever to make her re-bag everything. But it really steamed me. When I got out to the car, I stuffed as much as I could into the string bag so I could minimize what I would have to carry, and I got everything in there but one plastic bag!

The worst part is when I got home and unpacked the groceries. Not only had I carried home 5 unnecessary plastic bags, but the bagger had only put 1 item in each bag! (I know the store policy is to pack at least 6 things in a bag.) It was as if she had deliberately used way more bags than I needed or wanted, just because I brought my own bag and asked her to fill it.

Or am I just being paranoid?

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6 thoughts on “Can I Have Some Groceries with My Plastic Bags?

  1. itsallabouthallie 5 February 2008 at 2:11 pm

    OMG i just stumbled onto your blog. I have had the same problem!!! Last night i went shopping and had my six bags, it was as if they had never packed in anything other than plastic. I actually said to her, ” i have six bags, it all will fit, i dont want the plastic bags!” She was so annoyed. Oh well what can you do?

  2. Shannon 5 February 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I felt like unpacking everything and putting it in the bag I had brought, but then I knew they would just throw away the unused plastic bags. I guess I can use them for something.

  3. Tara 5 February 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I too just came upon your blog… and I had to comment on the bags since I just wrote a little on this in my own blog. We just moved to Denmark and those plastic bags cost 50 – 75 cents each! Sad to say that it took that extra cost, but now I always bring my bags from home. (and nobody packs your groceries here for you either) 🙂 BYE

  4. dylan555 5 February 2008 at 4:46 pm

    You should write to Harris Teeter. Believe it or not, they take customer feedback VERY seriously and would likely respond to your note AND try to train better.

  5. Life Less Plastic 9 February 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I’m pretty committed to bringing my own bags these days, but I’ve had people pack my stuff into plastic while I wasn’t looking. I usually just give a big smile, and then crinkle my nose while saying, “oh, no thanks, I don’t think I need a bag.” It usually goes over pretty while.

    Oh, also if there is already tons of stuff in the bag, I just go over to an out-of-the-way spot, unpack the bag, and then bring it back to an unoccupied bagging station. I figure it’s the best I can do at that point…

  6. […] But I don’t want plastic bags! Posted on 22 July 2008 by Shannon So the plastic bag saga at my local grocery store continues. […]

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