Monday, July 28, 2008

Rejecting plastic

Jessica Zafra suggests giving plastic bags back to the establishments that gave them to us in the hope that they reuse them. I say (well, she does, too) it's better if we just refuse them unless absolutely necessary.

I understand needing huge bags for groceries or for a number of tiny things, but a small plastic bag to place a bottle of, say, alcohol is just a waste of plastic. For those purchases I just tell the cashier to give me the bottle and the receipt. "Huwag mo nang isupot" is a solution to too much plastic clogging the landfills.

Some stores are trying to implement solutions but they're missing the point. SM sells reusable canvas bags for groceries but they're hardly enough to contain all the groceries I buy (I do mine weekly). And instead of being progressive and allowing a shopper to bring any bag, SM insists on using the canvas bags they sell.

It's faux environmentalism at its tackiest on par with their faux moral stance of not allowing R-rated films in their cinemas.

Besides, I reuse those huge grocery bags. They're big and yellow and perfect for lining trash cans. What I find wasteful are National Book Store's handle-less bags that they heat seal (presumably to keep pencils from slipping out), which doubles the waste since it renders the plastic useless.

As with any environmental advocacy, what's needed is a change in mindset. We have to start thinking in terms of what we can reuse and what will be wasted instead of what we think we need or worse, what the stores insist we do.


mojacko said...

wala kasing follow through ang efforts dito...i remember a time when rustan's gave 50centavos if you brought your own bag. tapos nawala na...
i'm with you on why they insist on us using only their SM bags. my cousins from quebec were on vacation here and i had to explain to the cashier that they wanted to use their foldable and rather fashionable cloth bags they brought with them instead of the plastic. bag boy proceeded to haul the stuff into the plastic before placing in my cousins' cloth bags. ngek. my cousin said we complain about our garbage situation but we use so much plastic.wala akong masagot. but in fairness, check out SM's bags...they are now labeled 'biodegradable.' totoo kaya?
I think national also seals their bags to prevent shoplifting.hehehe.

also google michael tan's old column on how he was in vietnam or some other SE Asian country where they have restricted the use of plastic bags and they survived! so kaya rin natin kung susubukan.

missingpoints said...

Sa Ministop at Booksale pumapayag sila na hindi na ilagay sa supot ang pinamili. Di ko pa nasusubukan sa SM. Try ko bukas.

Anonymous said...

Kung maliit lang naman yung store at di naman ganun karami ang nabili, i guess there's no need to refuse the customer's suggestion on not to bag his purchase. Ang hassle lang naman is kung maraming tao kasi you have to check the reciept kung di mo maalala yung bumili.

I refuse plastic bags for take outs kung iaakyat ko lang naman sa office tapos di naman karamihan. My friend has this thing naman about straws... kung kaya namang inumin sa baso, di na siya kukuha (i see kids na kumukuha ng 7+ straws tapos gagamitin niya sabay sabay... i'm like "huh?"). Little things like that, kung gagawin ng marami, can actually do something. Nasa unti-unting pagbabago lang yan kung talagang nagmamalasakit tayo.

shmuck said...

refusing the plastic bags makes much more sense.. this way hindi sayang.. although everytime ginagawa ko to, shocked ang istura ng mga kahera o bagger parang nakakita ng multo.. haha..

missingpoints said...

^ Nasanay kasi sila sa mga taong doble-doble kung magpaplastic :)