No plastic bags mean longer lineups

So Loblaws (aka, the Great Canadian Superstore, aka Your Independent) has decided to start charging for plastic bags.

Lobalws is now charging five cents for every plastic bag you use.

Lobalws is now charging five cents for every plastic bag you use.

They say it’s to help the environment. By charging a nickel per bag, they say more people will bring in those reusable bags.

Plus, they’ll also start making a profit on something, that for years, they have given away for free.

They’re not the first grocery store to do so. Food Basics has done it for a number of years now.

It’s hard to say that this is a bad decision. If I were to say that, I would probably be seen as an environmental monster or something.

But I don’t like it, for a couple of reasons.

I know I’m not alone. This is from Darcey McLaughlin of the Miramichi Leader:

“And so Loblaws has jumped on the environment band wagon. But does this really help the environment?

A walk through the aisle of any grocery store will reveal a virtual cornucopia of products harmful to the environment. From hairsprays to disposable cleaners to non-biodegradable laundry soaps, Superstore, and their competitors, continue to sell products that make environmentalists cringe.

It seems to me if the grocery chain were that concerned about plastic bags going into the environment, they would eliminate them from their stores all together. After all, if the idea is to get people to use reusable bags and boxes, then why not take the bold step of saying the store won’t have plastic at all?”

He has a point. How can Loblaws talk about the environment when they sell so many things that are bad for the environment?

There are other reasons for me for not liking the change.

One, is we reuse our plastic bags. Instead of paying for and using those big green garbage bags, we just reuse the ones we get with our groceries.

But the main reason I don’t like it is the length of time it takes now to get your groceries. In the past, the cashier would bag your groceries as she bags them. Now, they wait until the end, and ask how many bags you want. If you choose three, she then has to pack three bags of groceries.

Others might opt to let you bag the grocery yourself, but some people are very slow at doing that. A friend of mine a few years ago was so frustrated at the lineup at a bag your own grocery store, that she went to the front and started bagging everyone’s groceries just to speed up the line.

More stores should go back to having baggers for the groceries.

More stores should go back to having baggers for the groceries.

So you now end up spending twice as long in a lineup when you’re getting groceries.

In the old days, many of the stores had bagboys. Not only would they bag your groceries for you, they would bring them out to the car for you if you needed help. It was a great way for teens (or future NFL quarterbacks) to earn some extra money. Now, they don’t exist.

If Loblaws is going to increase their lineups on purpose, maybe they should go back to hiring bagboys.

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2 Comments

Filed under Environment

2 responses to “No plastic bags mean longer lineups

  1. Graham

    To say that there’s no point in becoming more environmentally friendly in certain aspects because you’re not environmentally friendly in all these other aspects doesn’t make sense. Change doesn’t happen all at once, it happens in steps. It would be like saying there’s no point in buying energy efficient light bulbs because you don’t take the bus to work. And of course there doing it for the money but I have already reduced the number of bags I use because of it. I don’t think the Independant should get too self righteous about this move but it is a step in the right direction.

  2. Dennis

    I saw a clip some time ago of a farmer in India pulling plastic bags out of cow. He must’ve pulled about 100 of these things. Not sure why cows eat plastic bags, but it was a little disturbing. I don’t know how you get around the longer lineups, but getting rid of plastic bags seems like a good thing to me. They just seem so wasteful. But does it mean that plastic bag makers would lose their jobs?

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