As many of you know, I LOVE our local grocery store, Wegmans. Though it isn’t just located in Rochester, NY anymore, to me it is still a local store. I love the selection of goods, the local farms produce in the appropriate seasons (complete with pictures of the family farmers, sometimes!), its child care services while grocery shopping (once your child is 3 and potty trained!!), and the fact that it doesn’t feel like I’m walking into a sterile hospital to purchase my food. I also like that they have been rated a top place to work for both part-time and full-time employees for the past decade.
Like many retailers today, the store is selling its own grocery totes (ugly, but hey, they’re trying), has a great bottle return center in the front of the store, and no one has even blinked at our own produce bags rather than using the plastic ones. In fact, you can read here about what they have been doing to reduce their environmental impact. In order to take our own plastic consumption down a step further, L1 talked to someone at the deli, where we get sliced cheese, a couple of weeks ago about using containers other than their plastic zip bags. The person with whom Mr. L spoke told him he hadn’t been asked that before, that it was a great question, and then told him that the cheese could be weighed and then given a sticker and handed to us and we could then put it in a container of our choosing. Great news! However, when L1 went to get our cheese today he was told differently. Apparently several people have asked the same question since L1 did, and the question was put forth to the higher-ups. They responded that the deli items had to be put in the plastic bags for food safety! They said they didn’t know what was in the container before and therefore couldn’t hand over the food to us. L1 challenged this by saying, “But we handle our produce in our own bags!” The man was sympathetic and thought it was strange, too, but his hands were tied.
We were very disgruntled, to say the least. The man at the deli did tell L1 that in the future he would put all of our order in one bag for us and put all the stickers on one bag. An improvement, to be sure, but not the one for which we were hoping. Now we have to decide what to do instead. Boycott our cheese? Write a letter? Both? *sigh* It’s not like we can get cheese not in plastic elsewhere. I suppose I’ll have to add local cheese to my local eggs search, now.