A Cowboy’s Faith: Carryout sacks, bags, boxes – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Carryout sacks, bags, boxes

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.What happened to the brown grocery store carryout sacks?

Children today don’t have a clue what brown paper sacks are. The only thing they know are the plastic bags filled with whatever the purchase is.

Back in the day, there were at least a half dozen sizes of brown paper sacks. Size of the purchase determined which sack was used.

When there were many items, of course, a large sack was required. Sometimes several of the largest sized brown paper sacks were required. Fewer items purchased, smaller the sack.

Uncertain or can’t remember how sacks were identified for size, maybe they weren’t, just big enough to carry the contents.

Nowadays, plastic bags seem to all be the same size, and sometimes a dozen or more are needed for large purchases. If the items are heavy, like a gallon of milk, two or three plastic bags are used together for increased strength.

Certain wholesale grocery items, such as five and ten pounds of sugar or flour, came in larger heavier paper sacks. Those extra strength, often multi-colored, sacks were retained for use to carry more items purchased. They worked best for carrying heavier items, big cans, milk, sugar, flour, potatoes.

Canned merchandise typically arrived from the wholesale warehouse in cardboard boxes with wide variation of sizes and shapes. The boxes were stored away several packed together with another and worked especially well for carrying out large heavy items.

Recycling has become a common modern-day term for reusing a variety of different items. It’s far from a new philosophy as paper sacks and cardboard boxes have been reused or “recycled” for decades. Some folks keep their plastic bags and reuse them nowadays.

If there was liquid seepage in a paper sack, it became weak, often unusable, while plastic bags don’t have that problem.

After being used several times sacks, bags, and boxes sometimes have value for further recycling to make new carryout containers.

More often they go in the trash and are hauled to the county dump. In previous decades and possibly today in some cases, the trash was burned, now often against certain environmental regulations.

So, the alternative is to bury trash, which doesn’t seem logical based on decay time and land contamination.

Reminded of Genesis 43:23: Peace be to you; He has given you treasure in your sacks.”

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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