In the UK, there is a strong drive to reduce plastic bag usage. Visit the major supermarkets and you now have to ask for a plastic bag and those that are available are so thin, they are hardly worth using. Anya Hindmarch led the style crowd with her I’m not a Plastic Bag which came out in a heavy canvas with thick rope handles in 2007 and instantly sold out. Every major retailer, museum, even school has their own hessian bag of sorts as we all salve our environmental conscience. Every week I would take my bag of bags off to Sainsbury’s smug in the knowledge I would not need a bag, annoying the sales assistant when I refused to put my loose veg in a bag and it rolling off on to the floor. So I brought this attitude to New York and thought it would be pretty much the same. I already have a massive collection of plastic bags: double bagging at the supermarket and just in case, let’s stick yet another bag over that chicken, which has already been aggresively shrink wrapped. One bag for the washing liquid in case it escapes from the child locked bottle. Agh, i cannot bear all these bags, even in the health food shop they’re at it and you’d think they would at least make an effort! I do refuse bags but that seems to be unusual. I haven’t quite summoned up the courage to recycle my Fairways bags – mostly because they pack for you and I’m too scared to ask them not to. I had this romantic notion that everyone in the US used large brown paper sacks and held their groceries like a small baby, but I’ve only seen brown bags in use once: when they were inside a plastic bag.