When I first started doing my own grocery shopping back in the 1970s – the checkers still had to know the prices (no scanners), there was only one kind of bag and it was paper, and I paid cash or wrote a check.
Then the scanners came along and plastic bags although paper bags could be requested. At some point, paying for groceries with a credit card took over from checks. The credit card processing hand changed over the years…from the checker swiping it through a part of the register, to me swiping it through a device, and most recently, to me inserting the chip end of the card into the upgraded device. That finally step has eliminated the signature requirement.
I started using my own reusable bags about 8 years ago and now seldom get the plastic bags any more (and never from the grocery store). Sometimes my husband requests paper bags that we use for collecting paper to be recycled.
The last plastic bags I’ve eliminated are from the produce department; I’ve started taking a reusable plastic bin for those items – weighing them so the checker can easily scan the weight/price for those items. In a recent trip I eliminated 3 plastic bags; I always am pleased when I can take a simple action and reduce plastic use!
Of course, once the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season starts in June, my purchases from the grocery store produce department are dramatically reduced.