MUSED Literary Magazine.
Non Fiction

Plastic Bag Lover

Lisa Reily

“Sorry?” queries the checkout lady.

“Yes, please,” I whisper again, looking sheepishly behind me at the queue of people waiting.

A guilty plastic bag crackles my way. I quickly stuff my cruelty-free ice-cream into it and escape with my freebie and my hoard of green-bagged groceries to the car park.

I am a terrible person. I love free plastic bags.

This isn’t something I’m proud of. I spend most of my days lugging around hessian bags, snubbing plastic coffee lids and reusing slightly stained and crumpled serviettes. I rinse and recycle plastic containers and walk miles, just to find a recycling bin. At the beach, my partner endures hours of fun as I collect fishing line, soft drink cans and cigarette butts on our walks. (Yes, I am a romantic.)

But somehow, when I get to the supermarket, something happens to me. If that checkout lady offers me a free bag, I am rendered helpless.

Perhaps I’ll need it later? Perhaps I could use it for a bin liner? Maybe I could wrap my shoes in it for my next trip?

“Yes,” I say. And the bag is mine.

When I go to other supermarkets, where the bags cost two cents, I will not buy one. I sneer at the other customers who stupidly and irresponsibly pay for plastic bags, while I pack my groceries into my very-conscious-of-the-environment reusable ones.

But. Give me a bargain and there I am. Again.

I know I need to stop.

So, I’m going cold turkey. Totally PBLA (Plastic Bag Lovers Anonymous). No more stores with free bags. I’ve signed petitions to get them out of supermarkets. Spare biodegradable ones will come with me now—everywhere I go. In my car, in every handbag. It’ll be tough.

But I won’t look back.