I consider myself an environmental management advocate but I am not happy with the way supermarkets and stores are using paper bags without design thinking.
Among the first establishments that I notice to have adopted a plastic-free operation is Mercury Drugstore. Even if I buy Php4,000 worth of medicines every month for my mom, I am not bothered by MD’s using paper bags instead of the plastic ones–no harm, no hassle in adopting a more environment-friendly option. Sometimes, I just dump all the meds into my bag and return the paper to MD staff. No problem really.
Last week, I bought two loaves of bread from Le Coeur de France and was surprised that it had also done away with its red and black stripped plastic bag. I knew it was good for the environment…but not for me, at least not that night when it was pouring and I was to take public transport going home. Well, I always do. People from less developed countries would know what it means to take public transport–it is far from convenient. True enough, while waiting for a ride, Le Coeur’s brown bag got wet and torn, and…my bread! Luckily, I was not able to attend my yoga class so my clothes were dry, and guess what happened next. Yes, I used my laundry bag in carrying the loaves. (When I got home, my mom said I really looked funny >:-( )
Tonight, I did not like the brown bag idea any more after doing my grocery at Rustan’s Shangrila. I saw the bagger place my stuffs into one of these:
With the idea that maybe, as a customer, I would carry my items this way:
It won’t be a problem if I lived just across the supermarket. How we wish, ‘no, M? Maybe that’s the idea–either people would be convinced to buy a condo unit across the store or would start shopping from the stores nearest their homes? Fine, if only our community stores sell dog food and adult diapers and remain open until I get home at 10:30pm. Besides, just how sturdy these brown bags are? Can they carry 3 kilos of dog food?
I am not surprised at this really:
So what did I do? I bought this at Php12:
So how many bags like this do I need to bring whenever I’d do my grocery? This was just big enough for the 16 items that I bought.
Another problem is staff training. So when I got this fuchsia bag–as I did not have with me my laundry bag and I was sure the brown bag would not stand the rain–the bagger put everything, as in everything, in it. Wet/fresh food, dry food, non-food items were all together in this bag.
I ended up repacking these, putting the fresh items into the brown bag before throwing them into the fuchsia. All of a sudden I missed Cherry Foodarama’s brown paper bag that looked like these:
I heard that the city government is now requiring all establishments to use paper bags. Fine, absolutely fine, but establishments should have put a lot of thinking, DESIGN THINKING, when they decided to comply with the rule. Just how many brown bags would be wasted because they tear so easily? Can they be recycled or reused several times before we consider them waste? Ultimately, would using the brown bags like those of this supermarket really conserve our natural resources and solve our waste problem? I don’t think so.
Nakakainis lang kasi ang daming taong hindi nag-iisip o sadyang tamad mag-isip.
Maybe the supermarket is suggesting that it’s high time that I get a car…and add to the world’s carbon footprints.