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[Backgrounder; skip to Paragraph III for the idea]
I work at the local grocery store, and one of my numerous duties is to check out purchases. While working there, I realized how many resources are actually wasted ensuring that every 300g package of shortbread stays fresh. First there is the box
in which it arrives, and inside that box there is sometimes a plastic lining. Every package comes with a plasticised paper box, complete with plastic tray and cellophane freshness seal. And some brands go so far as to individually wrap every morsel of food!
In addition to all of this, we cart them home wrapped in plastic bags, sometimes one item per bag to make sure nothing is broken, or bacteria don't migrate. My store, which is about a third the size of a Safeway, must go through 1000 bags a day during the holiday rush. Living in Vancouver, a fair number of people bring in their own cloth bags, and I applaud them for it, but slows down checkout time horrendously, (even more so than the old ladies who insist on exact change). In addition, cloth bags are stronger, meaning I can use fewer of them.
To speed up checkout time, I would like a lightweight, folding cloth bag holder designed to preload five cloth bags. It is similar in design to the bag holder bolted into the checkout stand. When the environmentally aware customer begins his checkout, he simply gives me the apparatus, I unfold it, and checkout begins. Instead of using one hand to hold the bag halfway open, I now have both hands free. Win win.
||[+], if only for //skip to Paragraph III for the idea//, but also for the idea itself. If only I could present a concept this concisely: maybe then I wouldn't be the proud holder of the number of bones that I am.
||//Win win.// Especially when you get home and it stands up by itself on the counter and the potatoes don't roll into the sink.
||Here in Australia most of the "environmentally friendly" bags are made so that they can stand up by them selves, and they fold down to be pretty much flat. In addition, there is a small loop that can hook one side of the bag onto the plastic bag holder (the one bolted onto the checkout stand). Perhaps, nearly already baked?