Okay...you all know (and many of you probably share my feelings about the need to recycle) but here's the issue...I've come to realize that in many of the larger shops it is someone's job to actually give you a plastic bag for your items and it's likely that they had to make some payoffs to get the job...either to the store owner, manager, or even shift manager....so they need to give out those bags to make their job count....whoa....okay, so now if I don't take a bag you place an employed Azeri at risk..
The avg monthly income for professional people...is about 200-300 manats (their dollar) per month..this is equivalent to about 250-350 USD a month...that ain't a lot of money..so it only serves to reason why the underground economy has to thrive here, or people live with generations of family. Their Social Protection (think our Social Security system) pays the average pensioner about 56 manats a month. So most all Azeris live in multi-generational households..otherwise, they could not survive...but with the avg life span not reaching 60 years in some places of the country....what's to save and plan for..
So though I take the plastic bags, I have started buying water (remember you can't drink the tap water) in 5 gallon bottles delivered of course, so I don't have nearly as many plastic bottles stacked in the corner...and the 5 gal jugs..they pick up when they bring new ones.
Hope everyone is well