A Plastic Conspiracy?

Is Big Plastic is out to get me? Will my story be told on 60 Minutes? Cashiers who cannot understand the concept of not wanting to use plastic and finding bags in mailboxes. It makes a guy wonder.


Back in November, I started on a very difficult mission to reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags cluttering up my life. It seemed to be an easy enough thing to do. I’d carry around a canvas bag or two and politely tell various cashiers that I had my own bag. For the most part, this has worked well.

From time to time a cashier will not understand my desire for plastic reduction. For example, the other day I had to stop by the store and did not have a chance to grab my trusty canvas bag. So my solution was to simply put everything into one bag instead of the usual two or three that cashiers feel we all need to use.

I picked some fixings for dinner and at the register asked the cashier to please put everything into one bag. After all, there wasn’t much to pack. First he wraps my pork chops in a bag, placing that into another bag. He continued to pack the rest of my small order into that one bag. Then for no apparent reason at all, he takes that bag and places into yet another bag. So I thought, “Um, what part of ‘one bag’ do you not understand?”

But it was the next oddity that first made me angry, but later gave me chills. One night after work I was gathering up my mail from the mailbox, I discovered an empty–and brand new–plastic bag from the local supermarket. I could not figure how it got there. Did someone put it in there purposely? A few days later I would start to unravel what appeared to be a conspiracy.

During the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, I stopped into Duffy’s (239 Bloomfield St, Hoboken) for a couple of pints. I spoke to manager Chris Halleron who has been in the same drastic plastic reduction quest. We traded tales of how difficult this mission could be at times when he said something that chilled my blood. “Then one day I get home,” he says, “and there’s a plastic bag shoved into my mailbox!”

How is it that two writers from Hoboken–who’ve both written about the evils of these environment chokers–each have one shoved in their mailboxes? Around the same day? “It’s Big Plastic,” declared Chris. So don’t be surprised if a full exposé is aired on 60 Minutes … followed by books, magazine spreads and a movie. Then perhaps a run for Government office to once and for all take down Big Plastic.

Or maybe I’ll just recycle the damned bag and continue on my mission.

See Also:
Double-Bagging Plastic
Three Down, Many to Go


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