Greedy Green

I read in Tasa’s that Whole Food Market encourages its customers to bring their own bags by taking 5 cents to 10 cents off the bill for each.The same policy will be applied to Marks & Spencer’s customers soon.

clipped from

Marks and Spencer is to begin charging its food shoppers for carrier bags.

Customers will have to pay 5p for plastic bags, with the money raised going to an environmental charity.

Chief executive Sir Stuart Rose said the company wanted to “make it easy for our customers to do their bit to help the environment”.

Campaigners say plastic bags damage the environment. Some 13bn are given free to UK shoppers every year, and they take an estimated 1,000 years to decay.

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As much as I support the being green spirit, I don’t think that these supermarkets are playing fair. If 13 billions shopping bags are made for M&S each year, and now they stop producing them, imagine how much money the company saves?

Let’s say the cost per bag is 5 pence (or 5 cents), so stopping the shopping bag production means the company saves 650 millions. Let’s say they still have to produce one third of their existing quantity, and less quantity brings the cost of production to be slightly more expensive. Even when the cost of each bag rises to be 10 pence, the company still saves over 200 millions. And don’t forget every time the customers choose to use the supermarket’s bags, they charge them back to the customers!

Shouldn’t the customer get 5 pence discount whenever they use their own bag? Or better, have the company donated the total shopping bag production cost to charity or organization that campaign the whole eco-friendly thingy. That’s what I call fair…


  1. Corporate social responsibility doesn’t mean they can’t take profit from what so called “green policy”. Some corporation actually raising their price when they start to implement CSR policy and charge its cost to consumers. The shopping bag is one of them. It’s not fair indeed.

  2. felinesopher says:

    To be fair, perhaps, supermarkets, M&S should produce paper bags or any eco-friendly bags for their customers? Just a thought…

  3. individual responsibility to the environment is different from corporate responsibility to the environment. the first could be philosophical, the later is rather political.

    but individual’s dissatisfactions to corporate responsibility for the environments shouldn’t stop the individual’s effort to stay responsible for the environment.

    i mean, if we feel like being cheated by the corporate, doesn’t mean we can continue cheating the nature.


  4. bonnie2405 says:

    always love the way corporate like M&S practiced their understanding of being more green :) but again it is not an old practice.

    most of well-known supermarket in the NL already done it for sometimes now. And agreed with M, in personal level when we want to change the world, one should change themselves first. :)

  5. colson says:

    That’s the spirit. Let’s each them a lesson.

    Earlier I offered Tasa the idea of a consumer’s boycott of all Dove/Unilever products for being not green. So maybe it should be extended to Marks and Spencer for being fake green?

  6. Finally Woken says:

    @Toni: interesting. Is it in Indonesia or somewhere?

    @felineshopper: as long as you don’t buy a cat and put it in the bag :)

    @M: agree. I wouldn’t mind bring my own bag to reduce the plastic usage, but I believe M&S can do better than just charging it customers. They could push their own suppliers to use eco-friendly packaging products. Isn’t it a bit silly that now you can’t even go home with 1 plastic bag while there are tons of products wrapped in plastic on their shelves?

    @bonnie: are you shopping with Colson? hope you guys are not fighting over a plastic bag hehehe…

    @Colson: interesting idea but might be difficult to boycott Unilever and P&G. They’re gigantic FMCG companies and we practically use at least one of their products.

  7. I couldn’t agree more with you on this M&S matter. It’s a business marketing tricks.

    ,.-*’oo’*-.,_Chronicles of Trisna_,.-*’oo’*-.,

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