Plastic produce bags tricky to open





“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”Joshua J Marine.

My friend Luke is a long time employee of a Safeway Canada outlet in Edmonton whose years of experience in the vegetable department makes him the man to go to for any and all questions regarding produce freshness and a host of non food related issues. Customers flock to him when they have concerns and questions. 

R U B B I N G  A G A I N S T  T H E  G R A I N 

This week’s Wednesday Challenge on partner Susan and my alternate site, WEEKLY PROMPTS, was TIPS AND TRICKS

The idea for this challenge came to me when I saw a cartoon  recently in the New Yorker magazine depicting a number of anxious customers wearing face masks and disposable plastic gloves all searching for a magical way to open a mini plastic produce bag while in a store’s veggie department.

I checked out the produce section and noticed that many folks ( wearing gloves or not) struggle trying to open these bags that are almost vacuum sealed so you have to rip one off the roller stand and wrestle to get the thing open.

If you have faced this issue relax. Help is on the way. Luke suggested a novel way to get the bags open and avoid wear and tear on your nervous system.

In the pre COVID 19 days you could merely put your finger to your mouth, place a bit of spittle on your finger and then work the top seal of the bag by moving your thumb and index finger near the seam.

In today’s world we all have second even third thoughts about doing that. Instead Luke suggests placing the top of the bag in the palms of your hands and gently rub the bag back and forth. The friction will pop the seam open for you. Trust me,  I have done this successfully.

This method works well if you are wearing the gloves or not. I have observed countless numbers of customers fiddle with the bags and eventually give up in frustration.

Try his method for yourself and let me know what you think. 

You don’t have to be a MacIver to get the same results.

A tip of the hat to Luke for this trick of the trade. 



Wednesday Challenge – Tips and Tricks





  1. Old habits die hard, Gerry. I usually give my thumb a quick lick and viola! open the plastic bag. Well, I automatically did that with my mask on, and realized how foolish that was. No one saw me–thankfully! Yup. Rubbing the plastic between your palms definitely does the trick. Whew! Produce was about to get messy. 🙂


    • I did that too when I started wearing the mask. Luckily the mask helped me save face. The veggie display becomes a gigantic sputum petri dish. Yikes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have to thank my friend Luke for that trick. Before I would be as frustrated as the next person, throw the bag on the ground and say to myself “to heck with it.” For my next number! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While doing their bit for the environment the supermarkets in the UK have removed plastic produce bags and have replaced them with brown paper bags. Some supermarkets sell (for a few pence) small reusable net bags for greengrocery.

    I used to have problems at the checkout when attempting to open plastic carrier bags until some years ago my nine-year-old grandson showed me how easy it was and opened it via the side of the handle! How embarrassing!

    In these environmentally conscious times, we now have a choice at the checkout between plastic or paper carrier bags. To cut down on plastic waste we must pay a few pence for the reusable bags, this has worked well and almost everyone reuses the carriers or uses their own strong fabric bags.

    Keep up the good work Gerry 😷

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Susan. The irony of it all: this was the year and February first was the date set up in Canada in which plastic bags were to be abandoned. It was a federal mandate and folks wondered what supermarkets would do without the bags. Now plastic bags are doled out generously. People prefer plastic bags at the market because if you bring your own “cloth” bags you have to pack your own groceries. COVID 19 has made plastic the way to go. Be safe. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We usually Pack our own groceries. The checkouts person scans and the customer packs their own bags, occasionally they do offer. Most people do not like it if they have to wait longer in the queue because someone in front of them is having their bags packed. It’s far quicker to pack your own bags while the assistant scans the groceries .

        I suppose each country does things differently, though I will say it was surprising how quickly we all got used to using less plastic. 🙂
        P.S. this is my second comment I lost my first half way through typing, so apologies if you also receive a half finished one! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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