for vast swathes of my working life 'would you like a bag?' has been a rhetorical question. It has now become a moral dilemma- I can see some of my customers squirm as they feel they are being put to some kind of test. Not asking or assuming one way or the other is often just as bad- not wanting to put my customers through such hoops- what should a poor bookseller do?
Well, at my local Bruges supermarket it is all sorted out- no dilemma, no squirming- just no bags. You're not offered them, you can't ask for them- they're not there.
Our need for asking for bags was, anyway, almost redundant for two reasons- firstly, we took a rucksack (11 out of 10 smug points) and, secondly, (and this is where Bruges really has turned out to be surprisingly different to beloved old blighty) this pretty small, local supermarket took no cheques and no credit cards except AMERICAN EXPRESS how weird is that (if you're a retailer-pretty weird, if you're not- it may not interest you so much!) and we only just scraped the cash together.