Collecting Souvenirs: Paper and Plastic Bags
inFebruary 12, 2013 - 2:36pm
There are plenty of changes due this year while shopping when new bagging laws take effect. Hawaii has already banned plastic bags, as well as many cities in California, New York and Texas, and even many countries such as India, Germany, Japan and Australia. Plastic bags are such a convenience when we shop, but unfortunately they are destructive to the environment. Just driving down any street you are sure to see at least one littering the road or decorating a tree.
This year many stores are now going to charge a fee, usually ten cents for a paper bag. Selfishly, because I collect paper bags, I'm glad they will still be around!
As with most inventions, the paper shopping bag evolved from necessity. Groceries and supplies were often carried wrapped in string, then paper shaped like a cone. Walter Duebner, a grocer in Minnesota felt if his customers had a more convenient way to carry groceries, they would buy more. And the paper bag was invented! Mr. Duebner sold them for five cents and patented them. By 1915, he was selling a million bags a year.
Another account of paper bags was by Francis Wolle who patented paper bags and a machine to make them in the United States, and later in France and England, in 1852.
Paper bags are a wonderful collectable. Fun advertising as well as inexpensive souvenirs of a person's travels. Some become highly collectable, such as the annual Neiman Marcus holiday bag.
Tourist sites like Disneyworld, as well as vacation resorts often have unique, collectable souvenir shopping bags in paper and more recently plastic.
So as we all transition from plastic back to paper or cloth, we can still collect and save any pretty bags and reuse them or just display them. Ruby Lane has a wonderful reusable tote bag that you can get by following Ruby Lane on Facebook and winning the "guess what this is item" in their contests!