“I have my own bag.”
You would be surprised just how much this phrase can throw off a NYC store clerk or grocery bagger. We have had a plethora of responses, the most common is a cursory acknowledgment of our statement (“Uh huh”) and then they proceed to put the items into a plastic bag anyway. There is also the very annoying response of moving the bag aside (which we’ve placed on top of the goods to be purchased with the express purpose of forcing them to acknowledge our bag), ringing up the goods, and then putting them in a plastic bag anyway. All the while our bag languishes to the side amidst our protests of “We have our own bag!” Then there is the test of wills in which the clerk rings up our goods and then leaves them on the counter, waiting for us to bag them ourselves. I guess just because we’ve brought our own bag they feel this relieves them of the responsibility of putting the items in the bag. Have I mentioned how much I’m looking forward to getting back to Seattle?
Maybe I should carry around copies of this article from the Washington Post that talks about the environmental impacts of paper and plastic bags. The moral of the story – bring your own bags, people! I carry around a collapsible bag with me. It doesn’t take up much room in my shoulder bag and has prevented a lot of plastic bags from winding up in landfills or being burned in China or being swallowed by a sea turtle.