Stop pissing on my head and telling me it's raining

Within a week we've had two corporate decisions which are designed to make your life worse while the companies responsible try to tell you it's for your own good.

The first was Sobeys/Safeway, who recently implemented their new bagless program where they save the environment themselves money by not providing free grocery bags.

Secondly, Mattel recently announced "Playback", a program where they save the environment by recycling old toys make sure that the lucrative toy resell market, which they don't get a cut in, is diminished while simultaneously giving them the opportunity to get into themselves.

At least in Mattel's case it's a voluntary thing: if you choose to keep/resell the old toys or just chuck them in the garbage/Goodwill bin you can still do that. They'd much prefer that you don't take away future market share from them, but you still can do that.

Meanwhile Safeway made your life flat out worse. The old system, in which if you wanted to bring your ugly stinky and overpriced "reusable bags" instead of their sanitary and complimentary plastic bags, seemed to work just fine for everybody. The only people who were upset were cranks who grit their teeth at the sight of a normal person grabbing stuff in plastic bags. Instead now, if you've committed the grievous sin of not planning ahead when you go grocery shopping, you're screwed over. So remember that: Safeway made your life worse. We'll swing back to this.

"Oh just keep a bunch of (smelly, ugly, bulky) reusable bags in your truck."

Except I don't want to. Even if I did, this is an action that demonstrably makes my life worse. I now have to keep my own mental inventory of bags in my truck, find a way that they don't blow around when the windows are all open (like, say, when I want to air out the horrible bag smell), and of course pay extra money for these ugly and smelly bags instead of the previous price: complimentary. So you're explicitly making my life worse.

Yes I know, no free lunch those prices are just passed onto the consumer yadda yadda yadda. By that same token I could get a cheaper beer if the pub down the street didn't waste money on chairs. The convenience of any story (hours, bags, etc.) is baked into the price. Of course, notice that the prices at Safeway haven't exactly gone down in the past couple weeks...quite the opposite.

"We're better off because plastic bags are bad for the environment."

Plastic bags (and plastic in general) is hardly the environmental boogeyman that morons who hug trees claim. Plastic bags are miniscule aspects of landfills, and if you really want to recycle them nobody's stopping you. Meanwhile, notice that I put "reusable bags" in quotes up above...the reason I did this is because apparently it's escaped everybody's notice that plastic bags are reusable as well. Indeed, anybody who wanted to was free to reuse the same plastic bag over and over again until it wore out and then replace it instantly with a free plastic one.

Meanwhile those plastic grocery bags we've been reusing have been incredible useful. Stuff 4-6 of them in your suitcase's side pouch before you travel, and you have an easy and convenient way to separate clean and dirty clothes...and if they are damp or wet the bag is extra useful. Plastic bags are great for carrying clothes and other supplies on beach days because all that sand just goes in the garbage when you're finished with them. Are you a man? If you regularly or semi-regularly grow out and shave/trim facial hair, a used plastic grocery bag in the sink catches all the hairs and then can be wrapped up and thrown away with ease. Indeed those same shopping bags save you money when you reuse them in small garbage cans: now of course Sobeys/Safeway think they get to sell you the box of garbage bags.

"Just remember to take bags with you when you go grocery shopping."

This is condescending but almost forgivable if you're the sort of person who is sitting at home, decides to go get groceries, does so, and comes home. However, it's retarded advice (and straight up condescending) to anybody who doesn't necessarily act like that. How many times have you been sitting in traffic on the way home from work, heard that the forecast which had been for evening thunderstorms has been moved to tomorrow, and decided you wanted BBQ steak with corn on the cob and homemade sweet potato fries now for supper? The hamburger defrosting in your fridge will still be good to make meatloaf in the rain tomorrow. So you stop by for a couple three items and maybe a grilled red pepper would be nice on that as well and since I'm here anyways I might as well pick up more coffee cream.

Or, since the whiners can bring up the "keep extra bags in your truck" argument above, what about if you're going on a walk or bike ride? You didn't necessarily think you'd get groceries until halfway through your afternoon bike ride your buddy texted to invite you for a couple cold ones at his place and his brother got some awesome wild boar sausages so if you could bring a pack of sausage buns and some spicy mustard. Now there's a Safeway near his place, so you can manage hanging a shopping bag from your arm for 12 blocks...but you didn't bring a bag...so now you can...buy...an expensive one. They call it "reusable" though even though your plastic bag was also reusable and even at 5¢ per bag it's still cheaper to reuse them than reuse the reusable (which dies long before your 7,100 required uses).

Safeway hates you and wants you to suffer while making you think it's all for your benefit

Safeway saves money by giving you a worse shopping experience. That's bad enough, but then they have the audacity to tell you it's for your own good, and that you should be happy that they've made your life worse. You can fight back though: places like Walmart and Superstore still provide plastic bags (and they're free at the self-checkout), so do the majority of your shopping there. And make sure that when you do go to Sobeys and only grab a handful of things because you've already bought your primary purchases elsewhere: tell them. After all, they are likely going to see a drop in the number of items per purchase as a result of this policy, and it will be useful to make sure they know the reason when head office starts getting concerned. Remember when I said they want to sell you boxes of plastic bags now? Make sure that they don't get to.

It's a complete lie that there was anything harmful to plastic bags. By taking them away, Sobeys/Safeway is helping their own bottom line and trying to tell it to you as a great act of altruism. Punish them for it...every way you can.