Why Do Some People Not Return Their Shopping Carts?

Krystal D’Costa, writing for Scientific American’s Anthropology in Practice:

While some supermarkets are better than others, it’s probably not unusual to find a few stray shopping carts littering the parking lot to the dismay of shoppers who may think that a parking spot is open, only to find that it’s actually being used by a shopping cart. It seems like a basic courtesy to others: you get a cart at the supermarket, you use it to get your groceries and bring them to your vehicle, and then you return it for others to use. And yet, it’s not uncommon for many people to ignore the cart receptacle entirely and leave their carts next to their cars or parked haphazardly on medians. During peak hours, it can mean bedlam. Where does this disregard come from?

I always return my shopping cart. I don’t think I’ve ever once not done it. Part of it is that I had a job for two summers where I was the kid who had to collect them in the parking lot, so I sympathize, but I think it’s mostly just being a decent human being.

(Via Dave Pell’s NextDraft.)

Thursday, 4 May 2017