0990: “Plastic Bags”

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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:45 am UTC

pbnjstowell wrote:And the raw meat never goes in with the veggies.

I can't figure out why this would matter.

thret wrote:The whole 'reusable bag' phenomenon irritates me. I use the plastic shopping bags to line my bins. Without them I have to buy bin bags. Nothing is saved.

How could you possibly go through as many trash bags as grocery bags?
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:45 am UTC

plasticup wrote:In Europe they charge for plastic bags. Not a fortune, but enough that you feel chastised for not bringing your own. It has really upped my use of my reusable bags.


A few shops tried that method out in the UK, but they stopped, now they offer loyalty points to those who use reusable bags, and boy do us Brits love loyalty points.

Also it's rare that a cashier will pack your bags for you, well, they often offer to pack for you but unless you are old or disabled, it's kind of considered a shameful thing to accept.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Turing Machine » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:06 am UTC

wdflu wrote:
nebulous wrote:Without trying to sound obvious, plastic bags are reusable bags. They also fold up pretty small, for convenience.

Sad to say this, but in the US most aren't because the stores buy the cheapest, thinnest, most useless bags that don't hold for long. They really should start using better plastic bags that people have to pay for, because it's a huge waste and plastic bags are flying/laying all over the US. Or the americans should just learn the word recycle and do it.


Recycling is awful for the environment.

It makes people feel good, though, so...full speed ahead! I'm greeeeen!
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Boarstone » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:08 am UTC

The packing of bags to be done by "hired specialists" is something of a cultural marvel for me. I think here in Germany anyone not disabled or very elderly wanting that kind of service would be laughed at. But then again, grocery stores here are minimalistic to no end. Still I think that either packing your groceries simultaneously with the cashier processing them or just putting them back in your shopping trolley if there's too much should be possible?
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Vo2max » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:16 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
plasticup wrote:In Europe they charge for plastic bags. Not a fortune, but enough that you feel chastised for not bringing your own. It has really upped my use of my reusable bags.


A few shops tried that method out in the UK, but they stopped, now they offer loyalty points to those who use reusable bags, and boy do us Brits love loyalty points.

Also it's rare that a cashier will pack your bags for you, well, they often offer to pack for you but unless you are old or disabled, it's kind of considered a shameful thing to accept.


Actually in Wales we have the continental-style bag charge now. I think generally people support it, although with a toddler in nappies we now have to buy separate nappy bin bags rather than using the copious quantities of free bags we used to get. The funny thing is that you hardly get offered carrier bags at all now, they're behind the counter and you have to specifically ask in most places. And if you use the self-service tills in the supermarket there won't be any bags anywhere to be seen. Hope you remembered your reusable bags!

But it certainly seems to be reducing bag usage and it is popular, so I expect you'll see the rest of the UK following this route pretty soon.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Shidoshi » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:19 am UTC

Here in France they charge you 2 cents per plastic bag and you have to put stuff in bags yourself.
I usually go to the supermarket by foot/metro so I never forget to bring my reusable bags that I've owned for longer than a year now.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:19 am UTC

littledman wrote:Looks like a set theory joke to me.

I was expecting a Pigeonhole Principle joke after the "five items in six bags"; had to do a double-take to realize they were being double-bagged, otherwise....
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:30 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:Also it's rare that a cashier will pack your bags for you, well, they often offer to pack for you but unless you are old or disabled, it's kind of considered a shameful thing to accept.

I've found conversely (in California) that if you attempt to bag your own groceries (outside the self-checkout lanes), the cashiers and/or baggers (if applicable) seem almost ashamed. Like a startled look of "oh noes! you shouldn't have to bag your own own groceries! let me get that for you!" At some of the fancier stores around here they almost insist on carrying them to my car for me. And I'm a fit (enough) 20-something man, not elderly or disabled by any means. It's like a point of pride in their customer service; they're almost house-elves, ashamed if you don't let them take care of you.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby drazen » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:40 am UTC

"The high I feel when I actually remember to bring my reusable bags to the store--and take them inside rather than leaving them in the parked car--can last for days.”

That's probably from all the germs that tend to gather in those reusable bags if you don't clean them regularly. ;)

(Although, the carts and baskets you gather your groceries in probably don't fare much better, thanks to parents who bring along their germ-riddled children and adults who can't be bothered to wash properly before venturing into a communal space)

Personally, I prefer the self-checkout - I don't buy that much myself, so it's quick as long as nobody is in front of me in the line, and I can usually bag my own, although I might have to wave off a bagger. I find the baggers to be the inefficient ones - they'll do things like put your milk and bread in the same bag so your bread gets squished and the package gets damp. Plus, anything I can do to keep additional people from touching my food seems like a win to me.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby wdflu » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:45 am UTC

Turing Machine wrote:
wdflu wrote:
nebulous wrote:Without trying to sound obvious, plastic bags are reusable bags. They also fold up pretty small, for convenience.

Sad to say this, but in the US most aren't because the stores buy the cheapest, thinnest, most useless bags that don't hold for long. They really should start using better plastic bags that people have to pay for, because it's a huge waste and plastic bags are flying/laying all over the US. Or the americans should just learn the word recycle and do it.


Recycling is awful for the environment.

It makes people feel good, though, so...full speed ahead! I'm greeeeen!

How could you possibly get that idea? I don't know what country you're from, but in my country recycling is "not bad" for the environment. It's true it doesn't make the environment better, but it slows down the bad progression. And it doesn't use as much resources as to produce new.
I'm with you on the last note though. I personally think that "I'm green" -statements are the most stupid thing a person can say. That person should go and live in a cave and eat roots or whatever, haha
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:53 am UTC

Vo2max wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
plasticup wrote:In Europe they charge for plastic bags. Not a fortune, but enough that you feel chastised for not bringing your own. It has really upped my use of my reusable bags.


A few shops tried that method out in the UK, but they stopped, now they offer loyalty points to those who use reusable bags, and boy do us Brits love loyalty points.

Also it's rare that a cashier will pack your bags for you, well, they often offer to pack for you but unless you are old or disabled, it's kind of considered a shameful thing to accept.


Actually in Wales we have the continental-style bag charge now. I think generally people support it, although with a toddler in nappies we now have to buy separate nappy bin bags rather than using the copious quantities of free bags we used to get. The funny thing is that you hardly get offered carrier bags at all now, they're behind the counter and you have to specifically ask in most places. And if you use the self-service tills in the supermarket there won't be any bags anywhere to be seen. Hope you remembered your reusable bags!

But it certainly seems to be reducing bag usage and it is popular, so I expect you'll see the rest of the UK following this route pretty soon.


like i said, a few shops, notably Co-op tried out the "charging for bags" thing and every shop that did it, stopped, except Lidl but they always charged for bags, and i believe don't even have cheap plastic bags any more.

Pfhorrest wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:Also it's rare that a cashier will pack your bags for you, well, they often offer to pack for you but unless you are old or disabled, it's kind of considered a shameful thing to accept.

I've found conversely (in California) that if you attempt to bag your own groceries (outside the self-checkout lanes), the cashiers and/or baggers (if applicable) seem almost ashamed. Like a startled look of "oh noes! you shouldn't have to bag your own own groceries! let me get that for you!" At some of the fancier stores around here they almost insist on carrying them to my car for me. And I'm a fit (enough) 20-something man, not elderly or disabled by any means. It's like a point of pride in their customer service; they're almost house-elves, ashamed if you don't let them take care of you.


wow that just sounds really.... Stepford Wives-y

drazen wrote:"The high I feel when I actually remember to bring my reusable bags to the store--and take them inside rather than leaving them in the parked car--can last for days.”

That's probably from all the germs that tend to gather in those reusable bags if you don't clean them regularly. ;)

(Although, the carts and baskets you gather your groceries in probably don't fare much better, thanks to parents who bring along their germ-riddled children and adults who can't be bothered to wash properly before venturing into a communal space)

Personally, I prefer the self-checkout - I don't buy that much myself, so it's quick as long as nobody is in front of me in the line, and I can usually bag my own, although I might have to wave off a bagger. I find the baggers to be the inefficient ones - they'll do things like put your milk and bread in the same bag so your bread gets squished and the package gets damp. Plus, anything I can do to keep additional people from touching my food seems like a win to me.


I think you have a problem with germs.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby mtball02 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:04 am UTC

I used to work at Kroger (a Midwest chain, also owns following list of "local" chains: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kroger#Chains) and it depending on the six items you bought, the employee may or may not have been required to use five bags, since it was store policy to separate cold/not cold, meat/nonmeat, heavy/light, food/nonfood, etc. So if your six items were a watermelon, cheese, hamburger, batteries, a loaf of bread, and something else, it would be store policy to use five bags. I often got around this by asking the customer if he or she minded if I put the bread, cheese, and batteries in the same bag for the sake of sanity, and people said yes literally 100% of the time.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Soma » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:11 am UTC

I have never understood the whole "pack your bags for you" thing. Ok for old ppl, or disabled. But for the rest? I have only seen it in the US so my conclusion is that you americans are lazy bastards.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Catmando » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:15 am UTC

drazen wrote:Personally, I prefer the self-checkout - I don't buy that much myself, so it's quick as long as nobody is in front of me in the line, and I can usually bag my own, although I might have to wave off a bagger. I find the baggers to be the inefficient ones - they'll do things like put your milk and bread in the same bag so your bread gets squished and the package gets damp. Plus, anything I can do to keep additional people from touching my food seems like a win to me.


Bah, I hate using self-checkouts. The ones at Wal-Mart react when you try to use more than one bag for things or not use any bags at all because you brought your own (and Wal-Mart sells reusable bags...), and there's about a dozen ways in which the machine will flip out and require a supervisor anyway, which often makes it take longer for me to do a self-checkout than wait in a line and have a cashier do it. I've never had any problem with cashiers bagging my stuff badly, either, so I prefer them over self-checkouts whenever possible.

Regarding the topic of the comic, I've never had that happen to me, but then, cashiers around here are nice. I have about half a dozen reusable bags in all, including a nice freezer bag from Sam's Club.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby J L » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:40 am UTC

mtball02 wrote:I often got around this by asking the customer if he or she minded if I put the bread, cheese, and batteries in the same bag for the sake of sanity, and people said yes literally 100% of the time.


They said "yes, I'd mind you putting it together" or "yes, go ahead"?
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:43 am UTC

A_of_s_t wrote:I can't wait to read the xkcdsucks post about this because this did not make me laugh at all.


I have a suggestion:

"Fun fact: Randall has a competition to see who can make the shittiest artwork to illustrate the dumbest comic idea ever."

Alt-text: "Randall always wins."


Seriously, I was dumbfounded by today's comic. And people still wonder why I keep reading: when I think I've seen it all...
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby mtball02 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:49 am UTC

J L wrote:
mtball02 wrote:I often got around this by asking the customer if he or she minded if I put the bread, cheese, and batteries in the same bag for the sake of sanity, and people said yes literally 100% of the time.


They said "yes, I'd mind you putting it together" or "yes, go ahead"?



Good point. They said "Yes, go ahead."
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby mtball02 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:50 am UTC

Soma wrote:I have never understood the whole "pack your bags for you" thing. Ok for old ppl, or disabled. But for the rest? I have only seen it in the US so my conclusion is that you americans are lazy bastards.


I live in Spain right now, where they don't pack your bags for you, and getting through a grocery line takes about 4 times as long as in the US. So maybe that's why.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby m4ndi » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:54 am UTC

It may be a bit old (5 years) but this comic completely reminded me of Tim Minchin's Environmental Anthem film clip recorded for BBC3's Comedy Shuffle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVh15aUt8-c

"Take your canvas bags, take your canvas bags, take your canvas bags to the supermarket."

Still worth a lol even now...

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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Gerino » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:57 am UTC

Around here you have to pack items by yourself.
Also, usually you won't get bags. You have to buy them (and there is a tax in in I think, especially designed so that they can't be free).
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby zae » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:58 am UTC

I'm originally from Sweden, where they charge for bags. Nowadays I live in Japan, which used to be very wasteful, but in the past couple of years there's been eco-friendliness campaigns all over the place. Nowadays most stores will ask you if you want a bag, and if you say no you'll get a few yen off, or some points on a point card or whathaveyou. My local supermarket tried charging for bags at first, but apparently people complained about them being greedy, so they shifted to a stamp card program instead.

Also, paying and bagging works differently in Japan, compared to Sweden. In Sweden you line up your items on a conveyor belt, and the cashier just scans them as they roll by, making a big pile at the end of the belt, and then you have to hurry up and bag your stuff before the next customer's things start rolling down. Here in Japan, you just put your basket on the cashier's counter and he/she will scan the items while moving them one by one to another basket, which you then bring over to a separate bagging counter. Feels a lot more convenient and less stressful to me as a customer. Neither country has employees doing the bagging for you, though.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Netzach » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:13 pm UTC

I read on the homepage for The Swedish Plastics and Chemicals Federation that a standard plastic bag weighing less than 30 g could carry 20 kg. Are the American bags of lesser quality or is he buying some heavy stuff? Maybe all circles are kettlebells without handles?
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:28 pm UTC

Catmando wrote:Bah, I hate using self-checkouts. The ones at Wal-Mart react when you try to use more than one bag for things or not use any bags at all because you brought your own (and Wal-Mart sells reusable bags...), and there's about a dozen ways in which the machine will flip out and require a supervisor anyway, which often makes it take longer for me to do a self-checkout than wait in a line and have a cashier do it. I've never had any problem with cashiers bagging my stuff badly, either, so I prefer them over self-checkouts whenever possible.


in my experience there has always been an option when you start "are you using your own bags?"

when I first started using self service it used to "slip-out" all the time, but now, with practice, I can do a 40+ item shop and the only time a supervisor needs to do anything is to let the machine know I'm old enough to buy alcohol.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby radtea » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:43 pm UTC

It's fascinating the see the international diversity here. Randal is probably data-mining these comments to produce a future comic on international grocery checkout habits.

In Canada it's mostly pay $0.05 for each grocery bag at the checkout, so "Do you want bags?" is a question you get asked a lot. you generally bag your own stuff. Non-grocery stores still frequently have free bags, and you sometimes have to remind the clerk a couple of times you don't want a bag as they tend to be on auto-pilot (well, who wouldn't be?) I'm not sure what the legal status of grocery bags are: the five cent fee may be mandated by law (which for some reason would be called a "tax" by people who hate the thought of inventing markets--like cap-and-trade and other property rights--for solving environmental issues like acid rain and other tragedies of the commons.)

I used to think reusable shopping bags were awkward and stupid: those big flat-paneled monstrosities built out of recycled dinosaur hide or similar are completely useless to a pedestrian shopper. There's no way I'm going to carry them around with me all day and I generally shop when walking home from work. Then I found some really nice nylon reusable shopping bags that can be stuffed in a coat pocket and forgotten about until needed. They closely emulate the lightness of plastic shopping bags but last a billion times longer. The only issue I've had in the past few years is remembering to buy a couple of bags now and then to use for cat litter and whatnot.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby MathUhhhSaurus » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:50 pm UTC

GOOMHR!
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby jonadab » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:12 pm UTC

(I hope they also let you do it yourself if you want to avoid stuff like this?)


Some stores do have a self-checkout (e.g., Meijer), but it takes about twice as long to check out that way, because you are not the cashier and don't spend forty hours a week running items across a scanner and tucking them into bags and consequently haven't attained the same level of deftness. Also, paying takes several times as long in the self-checkout, because you're using a slow, badly-designed touch-screen interface; whereas, a cashier in a regular checkout lane would be using a traditional keyboard-based register.

Every once in a great while (about one in a thousand times or so, I'd guess), your regular checkout cashier will be a fresh green trainee, and it'll take about as long to check out as if you used the self-checkout. When this happens, it is REALLY annoying.

When I was a kid, the cashiers ran the items across the UPC scanner (or punched in the price manually -- not every store had the barcode readers yet back then) and then set each item on the far end of the checkout counter, beyond the scanner. A separate person -- usually a store employee -- would then place the items in bags. This required two people, however, and it wasn't faster. If anything, it was slower, as bagging tended to be an extremely high-turnover position, so the likelihood of getting somebody who was new at it was higher. Every store I've been to in the last fifteen years or so has switched to the system where the area just beyond the scanner is a bag rack, and the cashier runs each item across the scanner and places it in the bag. This takes roughly the same amount of time as setting it on a counter, and you don't need a second person to put the things in bags.

So, if you want to bag your own stuff, you'll need to use the self-checkout lane -- which, as I said, takes about twice as long.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby jc » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Seriously, I was dumbfounded by today's comic. And people still wonder why I keep reading: when I think I've seen it all...

Yet here you are, commenting in the second page of the discussion!
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby javahead » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:20 pm UTC

nebulous wrote:Without trying to sound obvious, plastic bags are reusable bags. They also fold up pretty small, for convenience.

Good for dog poop too.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby devent » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:24 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
thret wrote:The whole 'reusable bag' phenomenon irritates me. I use the plastic shopping bags to line my bins. Without them I have to buy bin bags. Nothing is saved.

How could you possibly go through as many trash bags as grocery bags?


I'm German, but I was in Australia for 2 years. Every time I shop in Australia I get free bags. After one year, I didn't know what to do with them. I already used them for garbage, but since they are small and fragile you can't use them for anything else.

Now in Germany we have the big reusable bags, with costs 10 cents. I can use them for everything (like plastic garbage, paper garbage, cans, glass, cloths, etc.). For vegetables we have still the free fragile plastic bags, so I use them sometimes for the garbage bin.

Also I find the groceries stores in Germany way more efficient. I was also in the Philippines, so I can compare Philippines style (the same as in USA I think) and Australian style. Both in the Phill. and AU they pack for you, but in Germany it's still faster and more efficient, because you can take the shopping cart outside the cashier. So you put everything back in the shopping cart, pay, go outside the cashier and put the groceries in your bags or car.

PS: what I really hated in AU was the cash-machines. One of the groceries store introduced them 8 months before I left AU. You scan your groceries now yourself, choose the vegetables type yourself, and pay on the machine. I really hated the machines.

PSS: what I really liked in the AU that you can have a cash out in every store. So you can get your cash not only at ATMs but also in stores.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Red Hal » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:I have a suggestion:

"Fun fact: Randall has a competition to see who can make the shittiest artwork to illustrate the dumbest comic idea ever."

Alt-text: "Randall always wins."


Seriously, I was dumbfounded by today's comic. And people still wonder why I keep reading: when I think I've seen it all...
That's more like it. Wit, panache, a reference to xkcdsucks and a stubborn refusal to grasp the point that sometimes the image merely illustrates the alt-text. Keep 'em coming!
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:48 pm UTC

My brother once bought one of those big survival bags and the girl at the store actually asked if he wanted to have it in a bag...
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Sprocket » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:58 pm UTC

Not the reason I started using the self-checkout, but the thing that keeps me away from regular check out.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

javahead wrote:
nebulous wrote:Without trying to sound obvious, plastic bags are reusable bags. They also fold up pretty small, for convenience.

Good for dog poop too.

not really, they have holes and aren't scented.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Apeiron » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:04 pm UTC

i have a pile of reusable bags and Whole Foods paper bags in the hallway. It's very rare for me to remember them. If they are in the car, i tend to leave them in the car. :(
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby A. Smith » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:14 pm UTC

It was earlier in the thread that 5¢ doesn't actually deter people from using plastic bags... It does, actually! Stores in Quebec started charging for bags roughly 2 years ago now, and their use has dropped 80%. That's a whole lot of plastic not going to the landfills.

Oh, and recycling is definitely good for the environment. Just take aluminium... It takes 20 times as much power to make new aluminium out of Bauxite compared to recycling old one. it's very economically viable, too... more then a third of the US' production of aluminium is from recycling scrap.
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Re: 0990: "Plastic Bags"

Postby Someguy945 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

jpk wrote:You mean they cleverly don't stand around waiting for you to finish fiddling with the card terminal, but get the job done so the people behind you can get on with their day instead of waiting for you to try to get everything into one less bag and save a flippin' dime? Those bastards.


"Bag your own" lanes typically have a pair of conveyor belts after the register - one is for the person currently being rung up, the other is for the previous customer who is still bagging his stuff. This is actually FASTER than a regular lane because the cashier spends 0 time bagging.

tl;dr "Bag your own" is faster
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Alltat » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:30 pm UTC

I've gotten pretty good at remembering my reusable bags, simply because the plastic one-time bags would flood the house otherwise. We use them for garbage (as does everyone in countries where the plastic bags you get at stores are of decent quality), but since you by necessity get less garbage than groceries, you get spare bags if you always buy new ones. Since no one wants to throw away something they've paid for (even if the bags only cost a token amount), you're faced with the choice of remembering to bring your reusable bags or having your house fill up with plastic bags that you don't want to throw away.


It's a rather weird situation, actually.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby The Moomin » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:48 pm UTC

javahead wrote:
nebulous wrote:Without trying to sound obvious, plastic bags are reusable bags. They also fold up pretty small, for convenience.

Good for dog poop too.


This practice concerns me.

There are websites that say that plastic bags can take 1000 years to photo-degrade, and that plastic bags may not bio-degrade properly in landfill due to the lack of oxygen.

This means that in the future there will an in-numerable amount of perfectly preserved, carefully wrapped dog poops buried around the world.

I can't help but feel that future archaeologists will unearth these and conclude we were a planet of poop worshippers.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby Story » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

caoimhin wrote:When I first moved to Ireland I actually had to refuse plastic bags when I bought a single pack of gum. It was that automatic for cashiers to hand out bags.

Then they passed the plastic bag fee.

Overnight bag use dropped by over 90% ( http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/Waste/PlasticBags/ ). And even though it's a stupidly small fee (it has been raised since introduction, but it's still small), it's enough to remind me to bring bags to the shop.


It's still this way in the US where I live. No matter how small the item you're buying, the cashier will always try to put it in a bag. I actually wouldn't be surprised if they put reusable bags inside a bag.
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Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Postby ert » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:18 pm UTC

Kanban for grocery shopping: I store my reusable bags in my trunk, and try to remember to go to the trunk and put my shopping list in one of them when I leave for the grocery store. Usually I don't get too far into the produce section before I scratch my head, say "what am I supposed to do here?" and remember that I can go back out to the car to get an answer, and the bags come along with it.

Now that iOS 5 has location-based reminders, though, I can have my phone pop up a "remember to take reusable bags" into the store when I arrive. And every other time I walk within 100m of the store. Because that isn't going to get annoying ever.

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