I'm all for protecting the environment....I really am.
I am opposed though, to corporations cashing in on it, making themselves look great and doing it all at the expense of the little guy.
For example....beginning today, one of our grocery chains will be charging .05 per plastic bag. Their claim...they are concerned about the environment and want to do their part to keep all those plastic bags out of landfills.
Fine....I'm with them so far. Except.....they're already charging me, indirectly for those grocery bags. Those prices are included as overhead and included in the price of groceries. Hmmm.....will I now get a discount when I don't use those bags? Will they decrease the price of groceries because their overhead will now go down? I'm not holding my breath. (and just a note here...we do not have chains such as No Frills or Food Basics who charge for their bags but in turn have lower priced groceries to reflect their lower overhead. Here grocery stores are all on the same level with prices being pretty much the same all across the board)
Next on their agenda, in order to help save the environment, they want us to purchase their reusable bags. Ok....these bags are .99 each. We would need about 10, I'm guessing, so that works out to $9.90. So now, on top of making money on me for the plastic bags I no longer get, I have to pay additional money to the corporation for their reusable bags. (For example we probably average 15 plastic bags per week. At .05 per bag that works out to $39.00 per year they're charging me for, included in their overhead costs, plus another $9.90 for reusable bags...and that's assuming these bags last me all year.)
Hmmmm....how long will these bags last? Forever? If not, I will need to buy more....again more money for the corporation. (We buy 8, 2 litre cartons of milk every week...how long will those bags stand lugging them?)
When these bags wear out or the handles break....what will I do with them? Throw them out in the garbage?
What about when the juice tin leaks all over the bag. Or the ground beef leaks all over the bag. What will I do then...wash the bag? Doesn't that require energy (hydro for the washing machine,) water and soap being flushed into the environment? etc. Perhaps I should just throw that bag out....and then what...into the landfill it goes and I can just go buy another one...wow more money for the corporation.
But....it gets better. The corporation has said it will make a donation, a large donation to a charity. Again...that looks good on the surface...what charity wouldn't benefit from such a large donation?
But wait a minute....doesn't the corporation get a tax write off for this donation? And....it's not even their money they are donating...it's money they've made charging for plastic bags they no longer give out (or charge for again) or money they've made from selling reusable bags.
Not bad....charge for an item then don't give it out...unless the customer still wants it then charge again. If the customer doesn't want it...then charge more money for another similar item. Then out of all that money, make a huge donation (which works out to be what percentage of money actually taken in?) and then get a tax write off for doing so. Not bad, if you can get away with it.
I really think, if the corporation was truly interested in the environment....they'd give out those reusable bags for free (remember....they've already charged for the plastic bags and without having to get them week after week it would work out the same, perhaps even less, for them). Either that or reduce grocery prices. Again...I'm not holding my breath.
Which brings me to another point....I wonder *where* those reusable bags are made? Canada? I certainly hope so....I'd hate to think a corporation who is so concerned with the environment is having them trucked in from somewhere else.