In Portland Oregon I don’t think you could find a plastic bag to save your life. In the Rite Aid, you get paper. In Pategonia, you walk out with your newly purchased clothes naked in your hand unless, as I was courteously asked, you’d like to purchase a bag (not plastic) for 50 cents.
I never quite realized how important plastic bags are to me until our local very-sustainably-with-it cooperative food store eliminated them. We have reusable bags, and used them often even before this admirable decision, but their erstwhile plastic bags were so good – so strong, so big, perfect for depositing scooped-up cat litter or lining my kitchen compost recycling tub (see, I can be green too, despite my penchant for plastic bags). And yes, I know they’re bad, I know they get caught in trees and look ugly and sit in landfills and strangle dolphins. But I just need them – about eight a week, to be precise.
So today, after Body Pump, I went to our Giant store, where I go to buy things the Co op doesn’t carry or very heavy things, because we are usually walking to the Co op. Giant still has plastic bags, but they’re so weak they get huge holes in them if packed too heavily – and holey bags don’t do so well with cat litter, coffee grounds and vegetable scraps.
So I asked if they could please pack them light, and they did. Very light. They even asked me if I could manage one that was just slightly heavier, not even a pound. I may have destroyed the illusion when I slung the 20 pound jug of cat litter under the cart, but my gray hair helped, and I didn’t mention Body Pump.
I had to swallow my pride a bit – it was hard to be treated as someone frail. But I now have so many pristine bags my cats and compost are all set for at least a month.