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Well, I’m sure in some places what I’ve done wouldn’t sound that remarkable, but I’ve avoided plastic shopping bags (including at fast food places) for close to two years to about 98%, and if there were a couple of times I ended up holding a plastic shopping bag, I recycled it or used it as a trash bag or something. Plus, I work in a Walmart Supercenter, where I shop every shift that I work. When I shop anywhere,including at work, I usually use a net backpack, a reuseable shopping bag (some are cloth, others are made of recycled plastic), or I go bagless. Some of those bagless times would include using something I’m purchasing (ie.a metal bucket) as my container. Most people at Walmart know I don’t use plastic bags. Some people think I’m nuts, because I’m such an extremist. As an employee, according to the good folks in Bentonville, I have to show my receipts for my purchases at the door anyway. So, I figured a long time ago, why do I need that stuff in a plastic bag? Recently, I was buying something from the Electronics Department, and the guy ringing up my purchse flat out told me I had to have a plastic bag. I said, “I work up front as a cashier, and I know that is not true.” When cashiering, I used to try to use the fewest plastic bags as possible. When I trained a new cashier, I would explain that not only do plastic bags kill animals and fill our oceans, but they are our biggest expense in the front end of the store. Since then, I’ve been promoted to work at Customer Service, and I get a lot less requests for plastic bags there. I can also recycle the ones people bring into the store.
Is is very true that supermarkets are happy for consumers to use plastic bags, even to the extent of finding new ways to use them. The new self-service machines here are caked in plastic bags, ready for use. Reusable bags are even discouraged by this new equipment, with their plastic promotion laid bare for all to see.
Zero Waste enthusiasts say consumers should force the changes required to end this unsustainable practice by avoiding plastic packaging of all types, the plastic bag being first target.
It is good to see your involvement in the supermarket situation. What do you suggest for consumers who wish to make home container purchases of unpackaged items, eg meat/fish/bakery/deli?
Congratulations, Allonah! Thanks for your effort of two years. I’m guessing that not only have you personally lightened your impact on the planet, but that you have also set the example for others to make changes. Some people might think you’re crazy, but I’ll bet there are others who have been influenced, whether they tell you or not.
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