Someone complained at the grocery store that
the handles fail on the paper grocery bags so
they no longer use them. HUH? I've handled
several hundred of these bags with no problems
Now that I have had time to think about this I
have a theory about what is happening. When
the handles are first gripped they should be allowed
to shift slightly to center the load on all four
anchor points. If the handles are grabbed slightly
off center one of the handle ends will be unloaded
and the other end overloaded causing the handle
to fail. It comes naturally to me to find the center
and I don't have trouble with failures but others
apparently do not understand this and then bitch.
Here, I would describe the problem (at the one store that
uses paper bags with glued on handles) as *side* loading.
You encounter the bag sitting on a surface ~2.5 ft (30in) off the floor
(kitchen counters are 3 ft). The bag is 14 in tall. Before the handles
will assume any load, they add another 2-3 inches.
So, your hands need to be ~48 in off the floor before you are LIFTING
the bag (by way of reference, my hands are ~31" off the floor while
walking, HOLDING the bag by the handles). To try to raise the bag
from that height is just not a comfortable lifting motion for most
people (esp folks who may be short).
Add to this, the fact that the bag is offset from where you want to be
carrying it (i.e., its on a counter/conveyor belt, NOT "by your side")
and you can see how the initial forces on the bag/handles are to
pull it over to the *side* -- not STRAIGHT UP.
When we go to TJ's, *I* bag our purchase. And do so by sliding out the
little "shelf" located at knee level from the end of the counter, setting
the bag on this which brings the top of the bag (and handles!) to my waist
This makes loading easier (you aren't lifting items up to chest height and
then trying to lower them into the bag but, rather, lowering them from
the conveyor into the bag).
And, it also makes it much more likely that I will then lift the bag
STRAIGHT UP as the handles are closer to where they will be when I'm
carrying the bag AND the bag is right at my side (instead of sitting
in the middle of a high counter/conveyor)
But, this little shelf is only accessible from the *end* of the counter.
I.e., the position a "bagger" would typically occupy.
The cashier would have to leave his position behind the counter and
walk around to stand at the end to use it. Instead, *he* (she) will
just load the bag while it is immediately in front of their nominal
position and push it over to you -- leaving you with the reach-and-lift
problem (and torn handles).
| Someone complained at the grocery store that
| the handles fail on the paper grocery bags so
| they no longer use them. HUH? I've handled
| several hundred of these bags with no problems
I find they break often. It's not just that they
rip. They just come right off of the bag. They're
not glued on properly. I always repack into
a double bag if the bagger doesn't do it. I
think the problem is connected with recycling.
The paper used is very low rag content, mostly
recycled, and has very little shear strength.
There's also very little glue used. (To help with
recycling? I don't know.)
Apparently the EU is trying to phase out plastic bags. The Norwegians
are saying the EU can have their plastic bags when they pry them from
their cold, dead fingers.
You overhear ONE person complaining and extrapolate a nationwide problem?
Wow! One out of perhaps how many billion bags in use? Not what I would
call valid sampling since I am sure you got a lot of those several hundred
bags from the same source.
Nobel Prize winning science! NOT! Perhaps a more likely explanation is
that some bags are well-made and some are not. That's been MY experience.
Come back when you've done some actual testing with spring-style fish
scales, bags of various vendors across the country and a set of weights to
determine the actual failure loads. That's more like science vs. your
anecdotal observations based on one bag user (I guess it's two, including
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