Shopping baskets

Since the ban on plastic bags went into effect, Smith’s and other grocery stores have experienced a rise in theft of their handheld baskets. Smith’s has since placed security tags on its baskets.

The town of Jackson had a dream of curbing some of the plastic litter that pollutes our land and water.

So it banned plastic bags. But the ban has spawned an unexpected kind of thievery.

Jackson Hole shoppers have been filching grocery baskets at an alarming rate, forcing all four local grocery stores to restock and trail some shoppers out of the store seeking return of said misappropriated baskets. One tech-minded store has been forced to set up a system that results in electronic shaming. Oh, the embarrassment for errant shoppers as they step outside.

Other towns have enacted similar bag bans without triggering such a sticky-finger backlash.

And there’s a simple solution: Bring your own basket.

Shop with it. Then use it as a bag. It’s durable. And you don’t have to live with the guilt of stealing it.

Baskets come in many varieties. You can choose from metal, wood, wicker and, yes, even plastic. Don’t stop there. Customize it with stickers — just like your rear bumper, a favorite pair of skis, or climbing helmet.

Or grab the kids’ glue gun and go full-on glam and bling. You’ll not only bedazzle your friends and fellow shoppers but have more fun shopping. Imagine the friendly, funny competition in the produce section and checkout lane.

We all accept that you can’t take the place setting home after eating in a restaurant, so let’s also agree that you can’t take the basket home after shopping.

We understand how locals sometimes delight in writing their own rules. But come on, Jackson Hole, we’re better than basket burglary.

Now, from taking to giving

If you’re among the basket thieves, consider atoning for your sins by donating to a favorite charity during this Old Bill’s giving period.

Giving money to nonprofits through Old Bill’s Fun Run not only earns your favorite charity a match, it also saves organizations precious staff time. The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole bundles the donations and takes care of paperwork like sending tax receipts to donors.

With over 200 local nonprofits you’ll surely find some that align with your values. Take a moment to consider what you really care about and make a decision to give.

The deadline to give through Old Bill’s is 5 p.m. Friday.

This editorial represents the opinion of the News&Guide’s editorial board: Johanna Love, Rebecca Huntington, Kevin Olson and Adam Meyer.

(3) comments

Judd Grossman

Plastic bag bans are only marginally effective in protecting the environment, ( but constitute a dramatic overreach in government involvement in our lives.

Sam Campbell

I think if anything is dramatic, it is the use of the phrase "dramatic overreach" in relation to grocery bags. They are (were) grocery bags.

Judd Grossman

[tongue] Funny!

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