At a time when cities and states across America are working hard to eliminate the scourge of disposable plastic bags, our own Stop & Shop on Thacher Road has taken a flying leap into the past by installing a new bagging system in the checkout lines. My husband and I patronize Stop and Shop regularly and we are both dismayed and left wondering why they have changed to a system that actively encourages the use of disposable plastic bags.

At each checkout line, the old chute that extended beyond the cash register to the bagging area has been replaced by a cramped six-sided carousel preloaded with those horrible disposable plastic bags. The idea is that as an item is paid for, the person doing the bagging can put it immediately into a plastic bag, and when the bag is full they give the carousel a quick spin, bringing around the next plastic bag to be filled.

It’s true that this new system makes it possible to fill bags more quickly and may have been a nifty idea in 1977. But this is 2017, and most of us are avoiding disposable plastic bags. This new Stop & Shop system promotes the use of disposable plastic bags and makes it more difficult to use your own canvas or reusable plastic bag. Additionally, although paper bags are available, they are kept well out of sight.

Perhaps the corporate parent of Stop & Shop – the Dutch supermarket operator Koninkliijke Ahold N.V. – isn’t concerned about the terrible damage done by disposable plastic bags. If you patronize Stop & Shop, please continue to bring your own bags, and ask the baggers to use them. Please don’t take the disposable plastic bags.

A plethora of plastic 😦 😦


  • I had the same thoughts when I went there the other day. If you forget your reusable, there are no paper bags in the self check-out. So I went through the regular line and they now have their candy brightly lit with LED lights. My kids, of course, wanted everything and were pointing out every piece of candy available. I probably shop at S&S more than anywhere else, but this may soon change. Totally surprised by their new design, especially after attending a meeting at City Hall last year about plastic bags and being told that “the grocery stores get it and are getting ahead of the problem.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, the paper bags are hidden away below eye level in a round container at the area where you exit the self-checkout aisle. I wouldn’t have known that save for one of the S & S employees, who btw don’t like the new system either!!


  • Wait a cotton pickin’ minute. I thought I was being a good doobee by purchasing the reusable Stop& Shop grocery bags in 2015. And now in 2017 they have a system to ENCOURAGE the use of plastic? Sure, they are printing reuse and recycle on the bags, but how many lazy people actually do that?

    Liked by 2 people

  • We need to ban the plastic bag! I carry my own bags to the store regularly. The fabric ones hold more and are easier to carry. I am dismayed by how few people bring their own bags. It is such a simple thing to do to make the world better.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The sad part is plastic is world-wide issue with misuse use and tossing it. As stated above! 😦 Dave

    Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand. – Tribe Unknown.

    Liked by 1 person

  • More thoughts to share but running off to a job site; will respond to everyone’s great comments tonight. Thank you for writing!


  • I find the plastic bags useful for a number of reasons. Don’t punish me because some people improperly discard theirs. I bring mine back to Market Basket where there is a bin to recycle them. True, our municipal trash collection bans them but that’s because the contractor hasn’t installed the available machinery to separate and recycle them. They are helpful for older and disabled shoppers who must transfer their purchases in lightweight bundles. And they can be used by dog owners to clean up after their pets – a perennial problem. There are so many games people – and municipalities – play with this issue. A few years ago Gloucester’s City Council decided that they wanted to give the appearance of reducing the annual tonnage of trash collected in this city. So they banned curbside collection by over 100 non-profit organizations in this city, almost all of which generate small, household-sized amounts of trash. That was a give-away to the Hiltz family, who picked up the more expensive private trash collection it triggered and who then turned around and burned us by copping out of their contract. Plus, the City Council snuck in a prohibition on trash collection by the controversial charter school.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bags are everywhere–roadside, marsh, meadow, forest, waterway, stuck in trees, urban, and suburban landscape–it’s a worldwide problem. We can’t fix human nature, but we can stop providing an easy way for folks to pollute.


  • It will never fly. People are too smart these days. This is not Walmart. I don’t as a rule go to S&S ,as they are too pricy overall, but if I do, i will bring m own bags or demand paper. If no paper, I will leave my order and leave. If we all do that, it will never fly.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Have you seen plastic bag man?
    There was an interesting show on PBS about all the plastic that is floating in the Pacific.
    Time for someone to invent a solution and become richer than God.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Cashier at a Stop and Shop and you’re not wrong. But there’s two hooks there for reusable bags. The middle hook for bags with a small hook and a wider hook above/behind that for reuseables without small bag hooks (use the bag handle to secure it that way). Where the carousel design seems to fail is showcasing the thick plastic reuseables. It also slows down those lines by making the cashier do most the bagging (instead of customer or bagger helping out), backs up the regular lines and self-checkout.


    • Don’t take away our bags. We recycle them and use them for other purposes. They are a great help for older and disabled shoppers who can’t handle heavy loads.


  • I saw this as well and was so diappointed. I messaged them to let hem know this is unacceptable.


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