environment

I am telling you about my bag

A few weeks ago I was off to visit one of my friends. Well and before that I had to buy a bottle of wine and couple of double creams. I knew there was a M&S at London Bridge train station, so I didn’t bother buying the stuff beforehand. The result was me standing in a queue of around 40 people with my wine and those double creams. By the time I got to the point of paying for my stuff, I suppose I just wanted to pay and leave. But somehow, in these moments, something always happens. The cashier looks at me ‘Would you like a bag?’ Me, kindly, holding my new re-usable bag in my hands.  ‘No, thank you’. Cashier looks at me slightly longer: ‘Could I see your ID, please.’ Me thinking to myself  ‘I cannot believe it, I had just taken out my debit card and shopping bag especially not to end up digging into the bottom of my bag.’ I obediently start looking for my ID. Cashier looks at me again. ‘Are you OK, you look angry.’ Me thinking to myself ‘I cannot believe she just said that!?’ And like it wasn’t enough, she puts all my things into a plastic bag. Me, as calmly as I could. ‘No plastic bag please, thank you.’ She removes the things from the bag. I put on an unconvincing smile and leave.
What I can say now is, that I have improved. I have noticed that sometimes there are those little things, that just are slightly irritating. However, rude reaction is never justified. Also, I am pretty sure, that she had no idea that I utterly detest those poor little bags. Why? Because  awhile ago I read this article about a ‘trash island’ floating in the ocean and it made me feel sick. Let me quote:

“Plastic is believed to constitute 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in the oceans. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.  Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or nurdles – the raw materials for the plastic industry – are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They then enter the food chain. What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It’s that simple.”

Plus they take too much space. Everywhere. I have just become a proud owner of Envirosax, a re-usable bag and in this moment I am very focused in denying any relation whatsoever with a plastic bag. Well. I have been observing myself lately and I have found that I have a lot more convincing and friendly way of letting people understand, that I have my own bag and they can save this plastic bag they really want to give me for someone else. And it works. I suppose the only thing I am disappointed in is the fact that I always need to say that I do not want a plastic bag, it would make a lot more sense, if people would have to ask for the bag.

Don’t know if you know, but during the Soviet time, plastic bag used to be a luxury. People bought them from markets and kept them as fashion accessories. I even saw quite a wide selection at a St. Petersburg market couple years ago.Colourful foreign plastic bags were considered as especially valuable; yet, local production was not held in contempt, either.

But you know, times change. Just hoping, that the 80ies ain’t coming back. So, plastic, re-usable, paper? Why would you even use a plastic bag, the re-usable ones are so much more fun?!

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3 thoughts on “I am telling you about my bag

  1. Ah, plastic bags. Triin, you remember back in 2005 nobody ever asked whether you want a bag, they just stuffed your stuff into one without ever thinking one could bring one with them.

    Now they ask, some of them even cost money (albeit a measly 1p) and it’s not weird to bring your own. I get green points on my Tesco clubcard every time I do it.

    It’s a new policy, people will need to get used to it. It’s a habit of mine to bring one with me because in Finland the bags can cost up to one euro. And they’re constantly re-used because they’re better quality and recyclable (meaning they disintegrate in the landfills).

    One further reason why I detest them, I recently had a horrible day. I bought a bottle of wine and didn’t have a bag with me so they stuffed in Sainsbury’s own ones. On my way home the bag broke as did my bottle of wine.

    I’m always bringing my own from now on.

  2. triiin says:

    Mia, it’s funny you say that. It made me think of my 1st visit to Tesco’s in 2004, when I saw my UK friends only used 1 bag for 3 items of food + then another one for other 3 etc. I couldn’t believe it. Perhaps it is this thinking that as it’s free, it doesn’t matter. Habits we don’t pay much attention to.
    By the way, I have this Tesco card, but they never ever give me green points, even I go with my bag. Should I complain? Broken bottle of wine – my worst nightmare!
    Jaanika, thank you for sending that link, def made me more conscious.

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