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Archived updates for Thursday, August 07, 2008

TGIF for (Automatic) Paper or Plastic?

U.S. Patent No. 7,407,089
for "System and method for determining packaging preference"

What is claimed is:
1. A method of determining a customer's packaging preference in a conventional point-of-sale retail location, wherein the point-of-sale retail location includes a person who performs the packaging of items purchased in the point-of-sale retail location for the customer, comprising the steps of:

identifying the customer using a customer identifier; and

retrieving available container packaging preference information for the purchased items using the customer identifier for the identified customer.

Thank Goodness It's Friday (and please, don't crush the bread),

--Bill Heinze

p.s. - In the United States, single-use plastic shopping bags are common and typically free with a purchase. However, some retailers, such as department stores, are more likely to provide paper bags to shoppers, whereas supermarkets and grocery stores tend to favor plastic bags and/or offer both types under the cashier's introductory refrain of "Paper or Plastic?" In some European countries, environmental legislation has led retailers to charge for plastic shopping bags. For example, the Republic of Ireland imposed a dedicated plastic bag tax, forcing retailers offering plastic bags to charge for them. But, according to the Sierra Club, "the difference between paper and plastic recycling is small compared with the reusing [of] bags."

Check out the Web Museum dedicated to 100 years of shopping bags.
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