So there I was at my Baniya's shop (the Grocer's- for the uninitiated) this morning, getting groceries for home, when this guy came running into the shop, and asked for mustard oil. The shopkeeper handed it over, and then this customer says, "Ek polythene dena." (Give me a polythene bag).
No moral grandstanding here, but I do make it a point to take a cloth bag with me each time I go shopping. Honest. So I positively hate it when people ask for plastic bags at markets. They simply drive/walk up to the shop with their hands in their pockets and expect the shopkeepers to provide them with a plastic bag.
Some time back when polythene bags weren't that much in use, retailers used to hand out stuff in paper bags and expected the customer to carry a cloth or jute bag with them. And now? Go anywhere, retailers are hell bent on handing you plastic bags with their logos printed on them. Advertising, they call it.
At what cost do we buy this convenience? At the cost of drainage pipes jammed with plastic waste? Dead animals choked on plastic garbage? Overflowing landfills? Need I say more? And why do we take plastic bags, again? Because we're too lazy to bring our own cloth shopping bags with us? Or because it's just not cool anymore?
Think about it.