Acme has become Screw me

Big surprise at Acme Thursday morning — the supermarket is charging for paper bags, which have been free since Methuselah was a teenager.

I was surprised only because a couple of weeks ago, after it had banned single-use plastic bags, Acme had nothing but the usual brown paper bags, two of which broke when I transferred them from car to cart at home.

I called the store to complain, saying they needed better quality paper bags, with handles built in, like you get at Mom’s and Trader Joe’s, which happily double bag for you.

The Acme phone answerer said they expected to get such bags in about two weeks.

It’s two weeks later and the better bags have not arrived, and they want to charge you for the shixxy ones. With virtually no advance notice, a lot of people did not bring bags with them.

Acme is happy to sell you paper or reusable plastic bags, but — get this — cash only.

Cash? How very retrograde. Who carries cash any more, other than poor people, and they are the last people who should be charged extra.

When did Acme become Screw me?

I should not have been surprised.

A couple of weeks ago, I needed some supplies at Staples, which had no free bags. I bitched about it on Facebook, and here I go again.

I said then, and say now, this is goddamn gouging, under the pretense of helping the environment.

Free bags, which are an American tradition, have been ditched and turned into a profit point for retailers. 

For me, it isn’t the money — it’s the principle of the thing.

One of my neighbors saw me with a cart full of loose grocery items and I explained what happened.

Whole Foods doesn’t charge for bags, he said.

So, guess what? FU Acme.

It won’t be as convenient, but principle has a price. 

I wonder how long it will take for other supermarkets to follow suit. Monkey-see, monkey-do. When one airline got the bright idea to charge for baggage, most of the others quickly followed suit.

Target, which had been handing out a sort of cloth carrying bag — the best investment it ever made because they are free advertising all over town — had curtailed that, the last time I was in there. On the other hand, I was in Macy’s Wednesday and got a paper bag — with handles — for my purchase, at no charge. 

How about your supermarket? Does it charge for bags? Let us know.

When City Council got the bright idea to ban plastic bags, couldn’t they have seen this coming?

Maybe they could have, if they had any business sense. Only Allan Domb runs a business and signs a paycheck.

As long as Council is telling retailers what they can’t do — hand out plastic bags — how about telling them what they must do — provide some means of carrying purchases.

Retailers ought to be smart enough to do it on their own, but if they’re not, let’s help them.

20 thoughts on “Acme has become Screw me”

    Welcome to America. AKA screw everybody in the middle class.
    As usual, you are correct. Big business could handle this a number of ways. They chose to go in the wrong direction. Those ‘so called free bags’ are not free. The bags, electric, hired help and so on are initially paid for by the store owner, then passed on to the consumer. Much like the taxes we pay. Everybody pays, then it is distributed.
    Since you’re complaining about bags, add it to the list. EVERYTHING is going up and will continue to go up. Taxes, cost of living, EVERYTHING !

  2. Most times I forget to take bags into Shoprite, 2 for 1.25 or so. They’re the handle type.
    WaWa 25 cents. This surprised me.
    Dollar Tree still free.
    Aldi has always been bring your own.
    All my other stops are outside Paradise.

    1. Who (what) do you think will replace those who we vote out when we “drain the swamp?” ? More swamp creatures, that’s who!

      Those who run for elective office are, by definition, me-first assholes who have no interest in the greater good. For example, what’s the first thing any politician thinks about when they are elected? “How can I help my fellow citizens?” Or “How can I get re-elected?”

      Sure, there is the occasional do-gooder who sincerely wants to better our lives, but it’s as tough to find one of them as it is a Hamas member at a Passover seder; 99.99 percent of all politicians are lowlife amoeba, regardless of party (republicans are worse only because they screw us–and their mistresses) while holding the Bible and praising Jesus).

      Politicians are the problem, not the solution! Forget COVID; politicians are the real plague!! The real problem, of course, is that any alternative to our system is worse. But screw ’em all!!!!!!

      1. Chuck,
        You are already defeated ! Everything is already stacked against you. Glad I’m not you and I never will have that attitude.
        I don’t know your age. I remember the ’50s. Eisenhower, for sure. Back then, most were STATESMAEN . Today – and for last 50 years or more, most are politicians.
        If you were from Jersey, you would remember the morning drive guy from 101.5 Jim Gearhardt. Him and a newspaper guy came up with, “drain the swamp” and “GRIP”. Get Rid of Incompetent Politicians. Force them out ASAP. Never mind term limits. If they care about America, they’ll try to come back. Most of us understand that it takes time to understand the workings of D.C.. Washington or Harrisburg or Trenton. It doesn’t matter. Get the movement started – just like this last election ( revolution ) and make things happen. The quickest results would be seen locally. Township, County, School Board, whatever. Start a movement. Start a landslide! Don’t be defeated before you get started .

  3. Although I live in Florida these days, I did have the opportunity to shop at Wegmans last month and the bags were free and plentiful. Went to the Wawa down the shore and they gave you a paper bag-with handles that didn’t break!
    Acme is the worst. They are losing people faster than any other grocer. I was happy when Wegmans opened in Downingtown-never went back to Acme again. I’m surprised they’re still around. The Acme in Ventnor is disgusting-I would travel to Somers Point to the ShopRite than go to the Acme around the corner from my home.
    I truly feel for the people that don’t have the opportunity to shop elsewhere and honestly wonder who gets the “cash” when you have to buy a bag. Good luck up there

    1. Sheri,
      I used to be a bagger in Publix in Florida in the 90’s. Double brown bags galore was the norm. I’d be willing to bet things haven’t changed. Great supermarket to shop and work. Alas, I now live in a sanctuary city paradise.

  4. I live in Northeast Philadelphia. For years, the closest supermarket to my home has been an Acme.
    I know and like the staff, and stop by nearly every day. The plastic bag ban, however, has
    been problematic. Yes, the Acme paper bags aren’t very strong.

    But–interestingly enough, a Giant supermarket has just opened literally across the street.
    Not only are the prices at the Giant more reasonable, but the free paper bags are stronger and have
    It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

  5. I was always a shopper who brought my own polyester or canvas bags to the supermarket and didn’t use the free plastic ones. Then when Covid excuses became the rage, the supermarkets refused to allow you to bring your own bags. So……..plastic bags.
    Are they allowing you to bring your own reusable sacks, or whatever you want to call them, again?

  6. I got used to no plastic bags from spending so much time in the summer in Maine and Vermont, so I have a collection of shopping bags in the trunks of my cars. They charge for bags in both of those places, but the bags are the reusable kind, not the paper or plastic. So they kinda force you into compliance. If they are serious about the environment, that is what Acme should do. Here in NC, I use my own bags, even though both paper and plastic are free. Who needs all those plastic bags hanging around! And the paper is pretty flimsy. Having said all that, Philadelphia has far more serious problems than the plastic bag one. Seems to me the city council should focus on those. Priorities!

  7. I use Acme in Bensalem. No Philly soda tax and still have free plastic bags. As many as you want. Still live in the city but close to the border between Philly and Bensalem.
    Wawa on State road started using those red bags that target had and are charging &.25 each for them.

  8. So what you’re saying is … yay capitalism! Make as much money for our shareholders as we can, any way we can. LOL

    Yeah, it sucks. ShopRite does it, too. But I’ve been using cloth and re-usable bags for so many years now, I barely notice. Except that I can’t occasionally stockpile small plastic bags every once in a while, to use as small trash bags around the house.

  9. A couple of years ago, when Wegmans (non possessive, like Ralphs in California) opened, I bought a small, medium, and large insulated bag with the name Wegmans on it, which we now use for all our food shopping. I saw the handwriting on the wall when the tree huggers and over-the-top environmentalists pissed and moaned about paper and plastic bags. It was obvious it would not take long for the bean counters to conclude charging for bags made sense — for the store owner, not the customer. (BTW, the German stores — Lidl and Aldi — charge for bags, but they let you put the cost onto your bill and pay by credit or debit.) And in Germany, where my son and his family lived for 14 years, bags are not provided; one is expected to bring one’s bags with one. Next, when you use the stores’ bathroom, you will probably have to pay for the toilet paper. If it is a cash-only situation, you are up shiznitz creek without a paddle.

  10. Walgreens at 18th and South charges for a flimsy paper bag. Forget if it was 5 or 10 cents. Rite Aid gives free bags. I now take my Rite Aid bag to Walgreens.

  11. The ban on plastic bags effects the City of Philadelphia. Acme and Shop-Rite charge for bags at the checkout counter. Re-usable bags are best for frequent use. Keep the re-usable bags in your car with your masks so you won’t forget them when you shop. If you are walking place re-usable bags and masks in your fold up shopping cart. The same issues effects pharmacies in Philadelphia. We have to deal with it.

  12. Why are we blaming the stores when City Council enacted this law. The law should have never allowed the stores to charge bags. The reason we are buried in plastic bags is because the same stores foisted them on us a money savings feature them. These bags are cost of doing business for them. The easiest to put an end to it to get several people every Sunday or even on the Wednesday before thanksgiving and all check out with overflowing carts. When they ask you to pay for the bags just walk out.

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