Bagged and tagged

At PG’s apartment the other day, he went to put a plastic bag away. We’d just gone to the drugstore to pick up a couple of small items he needed, like ink for his printer and a birthday card for his niece. He opened the utility closet in his kitchen, where he keeps his extra bags, and I could not believe what I saw in there!

Extra bags just doesn’t cut it. There weren’t just smaller bags in, say, a larger plastic bag, like a garbage bag. No. This closet was absolutely filled with plastic bags from the floor right up to the ceiling. You could not actually see anything in this closet except for probably several hundred plastic bags. You could say that this closet was overflowing with plastic bags – and in fact, several spilled out onto the floor as PG stuffed the newly-acquired bag in there.

plastic-bagsIt may just be that I have led a sheltered life, but I honestly have never seen anything like that before. I mean, obviously, we all have far too many plastic bags stowed away somewhere in our homes, but an entire closet-ful??? And just tossed carelessly into that closet, not even an attempt to stuff them into a box or bigger bag (or five)???

And who even HAS that many bags? And WHY? Does PG not know that a plastic bag can be reused? Did it never occur to him that a plastic bag can be recycled? How LONG has this been going on?

I guess I stood there with my mouth agape, because as he nonchalantly picked up the bags that had fallen and crammed them into the closet and shut the closet door, he looked over at me quizzically and said, “What?”

I squeaked something about never having seen so many plastic bags in one messy pile before, and how did this happen, and why do you do that!?! PG told me that he simply couldn’t use them up fast enough, so he just tossed them into the closet. I sputtered that he didn’t have to keep collecting the damn bags, that he could reuse some every time he went grocery shopping. He responded that yes, he could do that, but he usually picked up his groceries on his way home from work so he never had bags with him.

“So bring bags with you when you leave for work in the morning! Make sure you always have a bunch of bags in the car! Give ME some of your bags – I’ll use them! Or put them into recycling!” I exclaimed. “This is just RIDICULOUS!”

He shrugged. This just wasn’t a big deal to him. So he had a few hundred plastic bags spilling out of a closet. So what? And I shouldn’t worry about it either, as it didn’t affect me.

“You are a hoarder!” I finally yelled. “A plastic bag hoarder!”

PG didn’t like that much, but he didn’t really have any defense. To my mind, a person who collects and keeps totally unnecessary stuff that is threatening to take over their living space, yet who refuses to get rid of any of it, is quite likely to be a hoarder.

So it could be worse, but there it is.

I am dating a plastic bag hoarder.

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10 responses to “Bagged and tagged

  1. Sure hope that isn’t a deal-breaker, my dear. As you say it’s just plastic bags and it could be something worse. I confess that if I didn’t live with Wendy I might be the same. Fortunately for us and the enviroment she’s a fastidious recycler and always takes her own bags to the store. Unfortunately, I tend to forget.

    • Oh, I’ll convert him, all right. He’ll come over to the light side, never fear. It’s just a question of time. And method. I still have to find a way to do it more kindly without making him feel stupid – except that it really is a stupid thing to hoard plastic bags!

  2. Casual shopping uses up many bags and costs a lot of money, it should not be done carelessly. Refuse a bag when you just buy a few things at the store, or otherwise plan your trip and bring a bag. There’s no excuse for this.

    • I’m thinking that PG’s only excuse (and a flimsy one at that) is that he’s a rather impulsive man and not much annoys him. He is not a planner – he doesn’t even make a list when he grocery shops! But this is 2013, so as you say, there is no excuse for such behaviour.

  3. An entire closet? Imagine the possibilities for that space!!! In Quebec, grocery stores charge 0.05$ for each plastic bag. Most everyone uses reusable bags now.

    • Some stores charge for plastic bags here as well, but many still don’t. I guess the place PG gets his groceries is one of the ones that doesn’t charge. Yet. I wonder if he’ll be so cavalier about paying extra for his bags when that happens!

  4. I am guilty of forgetting to put a plastic bag in my handbag when I leave for work in the morning then needing to get yet another new one when I go shopping that evening. We don’t have an entire closetful though… the ones that don’t get used for shopping are eventually turned into rubbish bags.

    • PG does use some of them for garbage, but he claims that since he lives alone, he doesn’t generate enough garbage to make much of a dent in his closet-of-many-plastic-bags, even when he double-bags. So that leaves reusing them for shopping and/or recycling them. Simple. No reason for anyone to keep THAT many plastic bags!

  5. I am almost there with him. I understand. And it is scary.
    Since I no longer have a cat, my space under the sink is becoming a catchall for dozens of extra plastic bags. I used to refuse the bags and just carry my groceries in my arms. I blame it on the frozen foods I keep buying. And forgetting to bring any of the 27 black Loblaws reusable bags with me….

    • It is hard to start the habit of bringing bags with you when you go grocery shopping, true. But it can be done, and I have done it! But I do have to find a better, more encouraging way to help PG ease into this noble habit. I don’t think the yelling is going to work.