Paper or plastic?
For quite some time that was the question. Paper or plastic? And we labored to determine which was the better choice. Paper could be recycled more easily or hold newspapers and then be recycled, plastic was lighter weight and could be reused as trash bags in small baskets or to carry something else at a later time, some were made out of a corn based product and thus would also decompose in the land fill. Ultimately, we requested a little of each depending upon how many newspapers were filling the recycle bin or how many plastic bags we had stored away.
At the same time, we traveled to Europe on multiple occasions and saw the fashionable and functional bags frequently carried by shoppers. I was smitten with this handy accessory.
About a year ago our local grocery, HEB, began to promote 'going green' by handing out free, cloth, reusable grocery bags that in theory hold 3 plastic bags worth of groceries. At the same time, HEB sold larger canvas bags for just a dollar or two. We purchased 2 large canvas bags and each received a small green cloth bag for a total of 4 bags. We added to those bags 2 other canvas bags that we keep on hand and which are perfect for groceries. We keep them in the car and have been using them ever since.
It seems that 'going green' has gone! Each time we come to the grocery we bring our bags with us and set them atop the groceries to be easily seen and used. Yet, on many occasions the bags are ignored and the groceries are bagged in plastic. "No plastic needed, thanks." I say politely. The bags are bright green and can't be missed! When the bags are noticed there is the invariable looking down the nose (are they extra trouble for the baggers, really?? Maybe I'm missing something) or worse yet a blank look -- 'what do we do with these?' Has the green era come and gone so quickly? Our family does recycle and we use our cloth bags, but I'm no zealot. I'd simply like to come to the grocery, hand over my bags, and have the bagger smile because they've used one less plastic or at the very least, just put the groceries in the bags without having to be encouraged.
Paper or plastic? No, thanks. I've brought my own.