Comment of the day

Plastic bags supermarket trolley: Photo Newshub

Yesterday in General Debate, Tobias Funke commented: quote


Disappointing service from New World Albany last night. They had had managed to run out of bags and so they said I had to buy one of their thick plastic bags. I was so annoyed that their logistical stuff-up meant I had to pay for a bag rather than being given a complementary one that I didn’t think to suggest they just pack the goods into the basket.

Then as I walked past the express checkout, I saw behind the counter that they had plenty of bags! And certainly no shortage of bags when I went in first thing this morning! What are you playing at, New World?

What cheesed me off the most was that when I got home, I found they’d dumped the packaged raw chicken breast into the bag with everything else and it had leaked. Chicken juice running around the bottom of the bag. I wasn’t about to waste my time sterilizing this plastic bag – especially since I can’t eliminate all risk if I don’t do a good enough job. Nothing for it but to throw the bag out. So this supposedly re-usable bag that they made me buy got a single use after the grocery bagger was too lazy to wrap the chicken in paper. Poor form, New World!

Still, I won’t hesitate to grab plastic bags as I pass the fruit section to put my chicken in. Maybe I’ll wrap each individual piece of fruit in the plastic bags as well. Hey, it’s okay – those are magic plastic bags that don’t choke the turtles! end quote.

Thanks for your comment, Tobias. First of all, let me say this is totally disgraceful.

It is the responsibility of the supermarket to make sure your goods are packed in the safest and most hygienic way possible until they leave the store. After that, it is up to you, but the supermarket does not want customers coming back to them complaining about contamination – as you would be completely entitled to do in this case.

The checkout person, who clearly could not be bothered going in search of plastic bags within the store (even though New World has not banned the bags as such yet) should at least have gone and found some plastic from another department to wrap your chicken so that it didn’t leak all over your other items. This is my biggest fear now that supermarkets have absconded from the responsibility of ensuring hygiene at the checkout. As they are handed reusable bags with mice in them, the whole idea of hygiene at the checkout will go out of the window. There is no excuse for this just because they have decided to go plastic bag free. They still have a responsibility to customers to ensure that their purchases leave the store in an appropriate way. Leaking all over the goods in the reusable bag does not meet the criteria of ‘appropriate’.

I have found supermarket checkout staff adopting a ‘holier than thou’ approach these days if you want to use plastic. They seem to think that plastic is suddenly evil and that it is their responsibility to re-educate everyone. I found this attitude was prevalent in Countdown, Lower Hutt before they stopped giving out free bags. I no longer shop there.

The stupidity of the whole plastic bag debacle is now coming to the fore, as Victoria University has done a study to show that reusable bags need to be used 173 times to replace one ‘single-use’ plastic bag… and that means a ‘single use’ plastic bag used only once. The whole thing is madness, and it is now being proved as such.

Thank you for your comment, Tobias Funke. Keep the faith.