Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Would You Like Some Plastic Bags?

So we break a new family record of shopping food in the local store for our family of more than NOK 3,000 and the lady at the point of sale still asks me: Would you like some plastic bags?

Why do I always get the question: "Would you like some plastic bags?"

It made me wonder; how would the lady have responded had I said "no thank you", I'll manage. I mean, why would anyone not want a bunch of plastic bags to bring their groceries home when the pile of purchased goods are at a complete overflow? There was absolutely no space left! (Mind you, this time we bought food for a family of seven to last for two weeks.) A lot of fun!

So, just to keep up the fun for next time I wanted to challenge the existing paradigm by actually bringing some plastic bags with me. In other words, I was planning to buy a lof of groceries and then bounce back the usual question. Here comes the question: "Would you like som plastic bags?" And my response, as if nothing was different: "No thank you, I've brought my own" (while pulling them out of my pocket). Oh my! you should've seen the look on her face. It was worth every second of it.

Of course, I know why the staff is instructed to ask whether or not I would like some plastic bags. And I also know why I as the customer should be left with the decision whether or not I want the receipt printed. Yet, it still shows you how weird our society sometimes can be. Don't you think? ;-)


  1. In France, this question has surprisingly become very meaningful in recent years.

    For environmental reasons, you can't get free plastic bags in grocery shops or supermarkets anymore, but you can buy them !! The ones you buy are heavy duty woven plastic bags that you reuse each time (my family as 4-5 of them) and they cost around 1€ each.

  2. My thoughts on this eXactly, Frederic. Nice! I'll be sharing you comment with colleagues right away ;-)

  3. It's good to know, what kind of situation you face at every purchase. It's duty of every worker to ask customer, they want to help every customer. And every time get same answer no thanks. Its exciting. hudpleie

  4. What on earth are you talking about, Vidar!???

    First, I am pretty sure that the question you always get is "(Would you like some) bags?" and not "Would you like some _plastic_ bags?".

    Second, it has been some years now that all major grocery shops, including Meny and Coop, sell reusable bags, see e.g. (they have been selling these since sommer 2008, they originally costed 5 NOK, I am not sure about the current price). Haven't you noticed Vidar, that plastic bags used to be free 2-3 years ago and now you have to pay for them? Never asked yourself why is that? Well, it's to motivate you to buy the reusable bags...

    Third, my wife and I are concerned about the environment and we almost always take our own bags with us. That means I almost always answer "No thanks, I have my own (bags)" and I have never seen any surprise in the face of sellers.


  5. So it seems. I guess I'm behind in this respect...