There’s a supermarket in the neighborhood called Foodium. I can’t really think of a worse name. It sounds like a body part:
Patient: What’s the prognosis, doc?
Doctor: Well, you seem to have an unusual growth in your foodium.
Patient: Is it serious?
Doctor: Maybe. Does it hurt when you shop?
Patient: Only when I buy food.
Or perhaps it’s built on the site of an arena where they used to feed Christians to lions.
At any rate, as of a week ago, there are notices by the registers saying that as an environmental measure, plastic bags are no longer free. At first, I thought it was just another spiteful act of greed on the supermarket’s part, but I think they might be sincere. The notices do not encourage us to buy bags. Instead, they politely request that customers bring our own, reusable shopping bags.
The plastic bags are not expensive–5 yen for a big one, 3 yen for a small one–but suddenly everyone has their own tote bags. It’s amazing how environmentally conscious people become when they have to pay for something.
I just toss everything in my backpack as usual. I haven’t taken a supermarket bag in years. The only problem with that is the occasional overlooked item. My gym bag still smells vaguely of rotten chicken. Yuck.