“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.”
This is a draft of a letter to one of the major grocery stores in our small city. I attained some knowledge by reading up on the manufacture, usage, misuse and eventual decades slow breakdown of plastic grocery bags; I can not be idle. Many places worldwide have banned plastic grocery and shopping bags so here I go.
My husband and I are regular customers of your store. I would like to bring an important issue to your attention. I notice that a number of your customers use cloth bags to retrieve their groceries from your store. However, I also notice that there are a much larger number of plastic grocery bags leaving your store as well. This is a serious concern to the health of the environment. These plastic grocery bags do NOT biodegrade in our landfills; they emit toxicity as they eventually breakdown over decades. They also pose a serious health risk to wildlife while still intact. Further, the manufacture and distribution of these plastic grocery bags generates a large amount of pollution.
I know, by the introduction of optional reusable cloth bags into your store, that you are conscious of the environmentally devastating effects of continuing to use plastic grocery bags. Therefore, may I suggest that it is now time to consider the ban of plastic grocery bags by your store? I realize that a large corporation such as Save-on Foods has a bottom line to consider and does not want to lose any customers. Consider this fact; thousands upon thousands of Costco customers off load their groceries from shopping cart to their vehicles. It is not that big of a stretch for Save-on Foods customers to do the same if they are unwilling to purchase the cloth bags to reuse. A limited supply of boxes from your weekly intake of merchandise could be reused for grocery take out, especially for the die-hard’s and the forgetful folks who do not get on board at the start.
Posting notices on your entrances and exit doors, stating your intention to support the environment by a Ban on Plastic Grocery Bags starting on a specific date, would give customers time to adjust. An incentive of redeeming Save-on-More points for cloth bags or even getting points for using cloth bags would get the ball rolling toward the change-over. As it stands right now the “take it or leave it” choice for using cloth bags is too easy to ignore. I suggest that by offering the customers a sturdy, well made, washable, reusable cloth bag at a reasonable price or for redeemed points and making their use mandatory, every shopper will get into the habit of keeping their cloth bags handy for use in the car.
Whereas many people are aware of the need to be more environmentally responsible, there are many out there who have not taken action. Save-on Foods could become an industry leader in promoting awareness of the need to take action against climate change by implementing a ban on plastic grocery bags. There is a savings to your corporation to consider as well…currently you are giving money away in the form of plastic grocery bags. However, the cloth bags will be paid for or at least partially paid for by your customers depending on your cost to retail ratio. The banning of plastic grocery bags would be such a huge benefit for the environment. In 100 Mile House, where we shop, as in many other small cities Safeway would be your largest competitors however few, if any, Save-on Foods customers would be willing to jump ship to the competitor over plastic grocery bags. We are a loyal bunch.
I would appreciate a written reply regarding the suggestions herein and your company position on the use of plastic grocery bags.