Plastic or plastic?

When I go to the bakery, which is very close to our flat, I usually get bread, milk and something else (nibbles, pastries, an ice cream, a croissant — or what have you). I am regularly given at least two plastic bags: one for the refrigerated items and one for the loaf. Sometimes I am given three bags: one for each item. They love handing out plastic bags.

I have found out this is not just the bakeries within range, in fact I get so exasperated with their need to hand out as many plastic bags as possible, I once asked one of the employees in the nearby one (we have made friends with some of them). She explained to me they are trained to give out as many plastic bags as possible so that they do not overload and rip open, causing inconvenience to the customers.

Now, because I only live round the corner, and because I always put my bread in a paper bag anyway, so that it keeps better and longer, I usually have to tell them I don’t need a plastic bag, or at least not more than one: I can always use a spare hand for the loaf. Whenever I do this, I sometimes get disdainful looks from the bakery employees, sometimes a smirk, sometimes I get a flash of astonishment, sometimes true grudge: I once went just for bread and had my loaf slammed on the till because I whispered ‘I don’t need a bag, thank you’. Thankfully, they usually just ask ‘what, no bag?’


7 thoughts on “Plastic or plastic?

  1. Extra plastic bags can be used in garbage bins at home, to collect all the waste and then empty the whole thing easily and in a clean manner by collecting the plastic bag.


  2. Well, I am familiar with a number of uses for plastic bags, it’s just that, by now, there are enough of them in my place to line the Outpost’s whole road network. And nobody really needs two bags for a bottle of milk and a tub of ice cream, either. These things cost money and are not exactly biodegradable, but sure these are mere trifles over here, along with energy efficiency of buildings (there is hardly any), conservation of water resources, the necessity of (some form) of public transport — and so on…

  3. This is by no means solely an Outpost ‘convinience’ measure – or rapid and cost effective mass product placement (the choice is yours)- though. An upmarket provisions store that recently branched out very close to where I live at the moment, gave me a total of eight (8) bags for some tomatoes, four apricots, a bottle of sparkling water, a bottle of cyder, a box of 20 oatcakes, 100grms of ham and a loaf of bread.

    Beat this Zorba!

    I have now rubbish bags for at least a month – taking itno consideration that I live alone in a flat with just two bins, with one of them being a thin, slik number of not more than 20cm in height.

  4. @Demetris: Having thought a bit more about it, if product placement is what they are after, what about offering paper bags? Besides, no Outposter would be caught actually reusing a plastic bakery bag, isn’t that so?

  5. @Loxias: Isn’t your front door, your street, lined with plastic bakery bags in their Drakounian reincarnation? Don’t you see them flying around town? Lots of companies would pay good money to have all this exposure. What about at the gym – nobody ever brought one with his/her towel or shoes inside it? Kids in school? Families at the beach – even inside their bright pink watermelon-shaped beach bags? I have friends who use them to keep sound and audio equipment – but that’s just them. Product placement might not be a the Outpost’s mega bakeries primary aim, yes, and partly I guess beacuse the notion of branding might have never really crossed their mind, but a marketing survey of the recognisability of the logo of these bakeries re its placement might reveal that guerilla advertising originates from the Outpost (like so many other things of course)!! Paper bags would not be so readily reused; they get wet, oily etc and are chucked into the bin at once, instead of patiently lining it untill that moment of utmost publicity.(And I find that bread holds better when double covered with an 100% cotton kitchen towel)

    The question I have is when will that North European habit of advertising shopping canvas bags arrive at the Outpost. If ever. I love those bags. Propably that will be such a costly venture though – with the returns figures not even near the ones of the investment in plastic bags. I mean would you throw your rubbish in a cotton bag?

  6. Notwithstanding any marketing value, if shop employees are so *universally* mistrusting of the performance characteristics of the bags that they must consistently double-bag or bag sparsely, perhaps one or a hundred of them would do well to speak with their employers about the possible economies of spending a pittance more on quality bags, and using half as many, or fewer….

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