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EDITORIAL – Two good things that are happening at the checkout counter

The re-usable bag: let’s use it.

An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IF ONE RANTS about something that one is bugged about, it’s only proper to acknowledge when corrective measures are taken.

A few years ago I complained about being asked at the checkout counter to contribute a dollar or two to one charity or another. It happens mostly in grocery stores but sometimes in book stores and other places, too.

I don’t like it. At our house, we donate to favourite charities every year, in our own time and place. If I’m buying something from you, please take my money and leave it at that. A loonie or two isn’t much but still, you feel trapped there at the cash register.

Most people, it turns out, just say no. Anyway, here’s the good news. I was in a store the other day and my eye fell on a sign in the checkout line that said the store was collecting for a particular charity and if I wanted to contribute, please let the cashier know.

Now that’s a civilized, non-threatening way to ask for donations and I like it. Tell the cashier to add on a dollar or two or three, or not, and say no more.

Here’s another good thing. On another day, as a cashier was filling up my plastic bags with milk, bread, etc., she informed me that when the last of the current supply of plastic bags runs out, the store would begin charging customers for the bags.

I don’t know what kind of feedback the store is getting on that, but I’m all in favour. We don’t need to use plastic bags. I thanked the cashier and said maybe now I’ll remember to use some of those re-usable bags I carry around in my vehicle but never think to bring into the store with me.

If you must know, the store is Save On Foods, which started charging for plastic bags March 5. Walmart started charging for plastic bags in February, and Superstore before that.

One of my favourite building supply stores charged for bags for a while but then stopped, and that’s unfortunate. If charging five cents a bag helps cut down on the amount of plastic going to the dumpsters or finding its way into our environment, it’s a good thing.

Stray plastic is killing our oceans and our wildlife, and polluting our towns and our forests. Time to do something about it.

mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (4715 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Two good things that are happening at the checkout counter

  1. Pierre again! Jeez! Does the facebook person in the helicopter recycle? Before the advent of the TNRD recycle yards there was great deal of recycling. I used to get it in the neck from my advisor for bringing home more than I took.Stuff like bicycles,wood,plywood,steel,canopies,tires and wheels and all other manner of stuff. If you found you already had one you just brought it back and swapped it for something else.I got many batteries at the dump that were still usable in one of our 4 running tractors or several pickups.We are now overcharged for plain house hold garbage,fridges stoves etc. and cannot remove anything and the bush everywhere is full of old furniture fridges stoves and all other manner of detrious. In many other jurisdictions in BC they have real recycling yards where stuff that might be wanted by others ,especially folks with limited resources is put aside. I cringe when I see some of the stuff that is chucked out. On Pender Island and Denman one can go shopping at the local recycle store for stuff that has been donated instead of it,s going in the bin.
    The TNRD is very remiss in their duties to society and the real idea of recycling. It,s easier to do it their way.
    Yeh Pierre,you probably are the only one who sees any irony in the situation,and it,s ” a helicopter”.

  2. E M Helen McLean // March 16, 2017 at 9:19 AM // Reply

    Well said. Please remember everyone that those bags need to be laundered on a regular basis.
    I have had cashiers comment to me that they have seen some so
    soiled that they did not feel they should be filling them with groceries.

  3. Getting away from grocery bags is no solution, like the token effort of “recycling” all the wrapping from over-consumption…
    The other day I received a notice from a Facebook’s friend.
    They went skiing “off the grid” for a week…on an helicopter!
    Am I the only one that sees the irony?

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