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I've always wondered.....

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Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

I've always wondered.....

#1 Post by Nick » November 5th, 2008, 6:04 pm

Why is it (as seen on TV) that Americans always carry their shopping home in brown paper bags without handles? You know the scene: the phone is ringing as the detective arrives home at the apartment, carrying two over-full bags, trying to juggle the keys while switching on the light nasally and closing the door with a spare foot. Why not have plastic bags with handles? This seems to pre-date any 'green' explanation. Anyone any idea?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: I've always wondered.....

#2 Post by Alan H » November 5th, 2008, 6:23 pm

You do think these up! A slow day, was it? :D

You're right, of course, but I've no idea why!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan C.
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#3 Post by Alan C. » November 5th, 2008, 6:26 pm

And they always have French sticks protruding out of the top :shrug:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Maria Mac
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#4 Post by Maria Mac » November 5th, 2008, 10:34 pm

I want to know why they measure distances in 'blocks' - how long is a block? And why do they think Brits have bad teeth?

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Alan H
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#5 Post by Alan H » November 5th, 2008, 10:38 pm

A Manhattan Block is 80 m by 274 m (or 264' by 900' for the old fashioned), but elsewhere it can be as wide as 200 m.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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erasmusinfinity
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Joined: August 30th, 2008, 3:31 pm

Re: I've always wondered.....

#6 Post by erasmusinfinity » November 9th, 2008, 8:47 pm

It is only in the movies that Americans get only a single overstuffed brown paper bag from the grocery store.

Trying to do my part for the environment, I don't usually accept disposable shopping bags. But as is an honest (and I am not proud to admit it) reality in America, I have to make a special request to prevent the sales people from putting my groceries in disposible bags. The general routine is two place a brown paper bag, sometimes two, inside a single or double plastic bag with handles. This often amounts to a total of as many as four bags serving the purpose of one. The amount of groceries that could fit in one bag are then often split into two bags, or sets of as many as four bags each to a total of eight, so as to make it easier for the customer to carry. Then, most Americans cart these bags out to their car (perhaps an SUV) and place them in the trunk to drive home.

Fia
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#7 Post by Fia » November 9th, 2008, 9:28 pm

Try a trip to a supermarket in France, erasmusinfinity! No bags of any variety. Though admittedly there was always the inevitable baguette, Alan C :) . It only takes one trip to know to take your own bags. I had many odd looks in the US this summer with my cheerful selection of bags I brought with me :) I'd like to see supermarkets selling compostable panniers to use on my bicycle.

I was shocked at how hard it was to shop without driving in the US - paper bags are fine when you have transport, far less practical when you walk or cycle to shop. Green? Don't think so...

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jaywhat
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#8 Post by jaywhat » November 10th, 2008, 6:20 am

- why, on a film or a soap, if a character has to get a suitcase out of a car and carry it into a house, it is always quite obviously empty.

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Alan H
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#9 Post by Alan H » November 10th, 2008, 10:58 am

'elf and safety, mate.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan C.
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: I've always wondered.....

#10 Post by Alan C. » November 10th, 2008, 11:49 am

Our local Co-op have stopped putting plastic carrier bags on the checkouts (although they are both, reusable and biodegradable) They will give them out if asked, but they're trying to wean people off them, we use two quite large hessian bags.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

MedMae
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 9:46 am

Re: I've always wondered.....

#11 Post by MedMae » November 10th, 2008, 1:42 pm

I've always used a rucksack for most of my shopping. It's easier.
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Paolo
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: I've always wondered.....

#12 Post by Paolo » November 10th, 2008, 1:53 pm

They charge for plastic grocery bags in Ireland and it's amazing how few you now see stuck in trees or floating down the street. It's an idea they should introduce everywhere - a tax on forgetfulness and laziness...

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Alan H
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#13 Post by Alan H » November 10th, 2008, 2:07 pm

MedMae wrote:I've always used a rucksack for most of my shopping. It's easier.
We don't have one big enough...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Gottard
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Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: I've always wondered.....

#14 Post by Gottard » November 10th, 2008, 2:42 pm

quite large hessian bags.
I know Hessian boots but not Hessian bags; what do they look like?

Paolo, you have not told us about your Irish wedding!
amazing how few you now see stuck in trees or floating down the street
Still worse in Sicily a couple of years ago; a friend took me in his motorboat and the engine (a weak one) stopped two times when the prop. was entangled with plastic bags!
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Alan C.
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#15 Post by Alan C. » November 10th, 2008, 3:51 pm

peneasy
I know Hessian boots but not Hessian bags; what do they look like?
Like this one peneasy, they expand quite a bit as you fill them, so they hold a lot.
Image
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Val
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Joined: October 6th, 2007, 10:56 pm

Re: I've always wondered.....

#16 Post by Val » November 10th, 2008, 7:27 pm

sure those bags expand a lot and hold a lot but then I can't lift them from the trolly to my car, nor from the car to the house, weakling that I am.

Gottard
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Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: I've always wondered.....

#17 Post by Gottard » November 11th, 2008, 2:16 pm

AlanC,
I didn't know about this sac (Hessian bag) although I visited great many supermarkets in the UK (mainly Manchester, Ealing, Reading) unless they are very recent.
Pity I am retired or I would introduce them in CH and IT.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

Maria Mac
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:34 pm

Re: I've always wondered.....

#18 Post by Maria Mac » November 16th, 2008, 12:33 pm

Yes, they are very recent, Elio. I only noticed and bought mine this year, from Tesco.

lewist
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Re: I've always wondered.....

#19 Post by lewist » November 16th, 2008, 11:11 pm

Tesco gave me mine for free, Maria!

Going back to Nick's original question, in my experience there is often a packer at the checkout in an American supermarket and they will ask, paper or plastic? You just tell them and you either get the recycled paper bags or plastic carrier bags, whichever you ask for.

Fia, the American way of life revolves round the car. In many parts of the USA there is no public transport which makes life pretty hard for those unable to drive.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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