My wife says it every time we pull up to the supermarket: \u201cWe forgot the bags!\u201d Impossibly, the cloth tote bags that litter the trunk of our car every other day of the year somehow manage to get left behind when we go shopping. Bags used to be the one thing we never had to worry about. Back in the good old days, every line had a bagger, all the registers were open, and paper bags flowed like pulped orange juice. Somewhere along the line, however, supermarkets started hawking tote bags to help protect the environment. They convinced us to buy the very things we used to get for free by appealing to our collective sense of guilt. Failed environmental stewards While I am blissfully immune to most human feelings, my wife is not. She bought them despite our carefully curated stockpile of old grocery bags at home, some as old as the Jamiroquai era. Then, like Jamiroquai itself, these tote bags were forgotten. Each new trip to the supermarket was a suffering invitation, an opportunity to lament our failure as environmental stewards with each plastic bag we filled. We soon developed bag anxiety, an ailment that will surely find itself into the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It\u2019s the feeling one experiences at Costco when first realizing there are no bags. We\u2019re forced to scramble through a bin of strange boxes riddled with fruit flies in the futile hope we\u2019ll find something in a familiar shape. Instead we\u2019re left to make do with display cases in odd geometric shapes, desperately relying on our old Tetris skills to get them to fit in the car. There's thin and there's thinner In the name of progress, we can\u2019t get paper bags in grocery stores anymore because the environmental impact of their creation is much worse than plastic. However, the plastic bags they offer nowadays are so thin that calling them \u201cbags\u201d is misleading. They\u2019re more like a white plastic film that lasts just long enough to get halfway from the car to the kitchen before ripping apart. When I bag my groceries, I double-bag everything. If anything has a sharp edge, I triple-bag it. (By \u201csharp edge,\u201d I mean anything sharper than a cotton swab.) I use old paper bags to recycle newspapers or bring things to Goodwill, but those plastic bags are useless by the time I get home. They\u2019re single-serving items that I wouldn\u2019t trust to hold shredded paper. Thank you? The irony is the writing on the side: \u201cThank you for shopping with us.\u201d Thanking us for shopping with this useless pouch is like thanking catheter buyers by including a mesh leg-bag. They\u2019re really forcing us to either buy their totes or play \u201cgrocery bag roulette\u201d on the way home. More small charges on the way While I believe in the importance of recycling, I\u2019d rather not fund the industry\u2019s cost of doing business through my wallet. There should be a more significant discount for people who actually remember to bring their own bags because we\u2019re saving the store money. Instead, they seem to be taking the lead from the airline industry, where we\u2019ll soon be charged for air mid-flight. It\u2019s not all the store\u2019s fault. Many states are, justifiably, trying to tax plastic bags into extinction in order to keep them out of our waterways.However, the number one source of littering is not the casual grocery shopper, but rather ... jerks. How do we tax being a jerk? If we can figure that one out, we\u2019ll generate millions. As for the movement toward paper-thin plastic at the grocery store, I say we bag it altogether. You can read more at RobertFWalsh.net and contact him at rob@RobertFWalsh.net or follow him on Twitter @RobertFWalsh.