Irrational Encounters With The Modern World

Getting Carried Away With Environmental Duty.

I bought a new pair of jeans yesterday, from a well-known and low-priced High Street retailer. For a few years now, this retailer has been putting all purchases into paper bags as a matter of course.

As the assistant reached for one yesterday, a particularly wet day even for Glasgow, I asked if she didn’t have one that was perhaps a little more waterproof.

“I’ll double-bag it for you,” she said, and put the paper bag inside another paper bag. This didn’t afford any additional protection from the elements, but it did allow me to carry twice as much soggy paper around. Until the handle predictably gave way.

I can’t help but feel that any environmental benefit of using paper bags is offset by the need to immediately wash your new clothes, after the bag has disintegrated and they have landed in a puddle.

I understand that paper is better than plastic as it breaks down faster. It would just be useful if it didn’t fully biodegrade on the journey home.




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