We are just in the throes in Western Australia of a politically-correct scheme to remove plastic bags from supermarkets. All hail the dawn of the eco-revolution.
Well, as with any good revolution, you have mensheviks and bolsheviks and cossacks and armoured trains, and this one is no different. The two regiments that have taken the field first off are the Queens Own Hypocrites and the Bullshit Hussars.
a. The two major competing supermarket chains – divisions of mega corporations – will institute the bans within two weeks of each other. There will be trumpeting and photo opportunities, no doubt.
b. The independent grocers are still handing out the purchases in bags for now.
c. The Big Two – Tweedledum and Tweedledee are offering to sell reusable bags for several dollars or—wait for it—plastic bags as before, but for a price. You still get to apparently ruin the planet, but they make an additional profit on it.
d. As yet there is no charge for the use of the steel cage trolley in the Big Two…but wait for it to occur to their accountants. Another independent grocer does charge a coin fee for use of the trolley but refunds the coin once the trolley is racked back in the store.
e. Confusion will reign supreme tonight as people encounter the one chain’s policy and this will extend to the other chain in two weeks. There will be words, and many of them will be Anglo-Saxon.
f. The independent grocery chain who introduces paper bags or continues plastic ones at no additional charge – and advertises the fact unashamedly – will experience a surge of people switching over to their stores. They are smaller spaces than the big two but they can make a motzah in the next few months if they play their cards right.
I shall cope by experimentation. I’ll take some cloth bags with me to the store and place them at the front of the conveyor belt as I lay the groceries out. I shall be curious to see whether the checkout clerk then fills those cloth bags and hands them over to me to put back in the trolley for the journey to the car. If they don’t, I don’t pay till they do.
Note: I do not use self-serve checkout ever.
Or I’ll try the experiment of putting several plastic tubs in the car boot. I’ll just re-trolley the goods as they are checked through the till and then transfer them to the tubs in the car.
Or I’ll shift my business to the smaller supermarket and leave the big two to stew in it.