Spare me a nickel to save the planet

By Stephen Rhodes

I know summner is whizzing by, and it’s not been much of a summer, and I spent 10 days in Newfoundland, but somehow I missed the “brother can you spare me a nickel” and I will save the planet Earth campaign.

Grocery bagsI vaguely remember some media complaints about Toronto Mayor David Miller’s 5 cent plastic bag charge/tax for grocery store bags and the debate about how that would go a long way to greening the planet. Or not.

The 5 cents for a plastic bag somehow went viral when I wasn’t looking. Everywhere I shop people are asking me if I want to buy these 5 cent bags, as if somehow they have become contraband  – in the grocery, stationary store , even the beer store for crying out loud. Some don’t even ask, they just stack your purchases like cord wood on the counter and stare at you, one Spockian eyebrow raised, waiting for you to tell them you need a bag. Shame. How did this happen in only a matter of a few months?

I am all for helping the environment but I have to laugh at the amount of packaging that surrounds the products I am now putting in a cloth bag, assuming I remember to take it into the store in the first place. Is it just me or do we have the wrong end of the applecart here. Shouldn’t we be telling manufacturers to cut their packaging by 50, 60, 70 per cent, which would still require serious tools to extract whatever is hermetically sealed in that man-made plastic that I defy anyone to open without serious bodily injury.

In my house we have started a cloth, or whatever they are making these fabric bags from, bag collection. Mostly they reside in the house, on a door knob, ostensibly on route to my car. Even when I remember to transfer them to the car, mostly they sit there as I look plaintively at the checkout girl when she asks if I need a bag.

I can’t help it. I am being asked to break a 30 year habit in a matter of months. 5 cents seems so much easier. I’m stimulating the economy.

What do you think?

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Filed under Marketing, Stephen Rhodes

2 responses to “Spare me a nickel to save the planet

  1. l

    I would like to know why the retailers can’t simply supply bio degradeable bags. Under the current regime my cloth or plastic reusable bags will go to landfill one day. People will still purchase bags to line their garbage containers. Bio degradeable seems to be the obvious solution but that is probably twhy this solution won’t be adopted.

  2. Pingback: The plastic bag tear-off « The Marketing PAD

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