Friday, January 20, 2012

My Own Bag

It's spreading like virus in Metropolis Manila and nearby areas. So what exactly is the fuzz all about? It’s a campaign both by the government and private sectors to help reverse or at least minimize the effect brought about by solid wastes particularly plastics that choke the landfills and river systems.
A truce for the non-use of plastic bags with the battle cry of urging the people to bring their own bag when they buy stuff from groceries, convenient stores, supermarkets, boutiques, and almost all sari-sari stores that you can find.Now, instead of plastic bag, you’ll get a brown paper bag to pack the items you bought. That is, if you were not able to bring your own bag. So, imagine the hassle if you buy half a dozen beer at 711 and you are already half-drunk. Chances are, the brown bag tears apart before you reach the house and the chicks waiting will be pissed-off big time! You know what I mean.
Now, yours truly was not spared from all this as well and the notes that you will read below are my first hand experience on coming to terms with the M.O.B. craze. Red Hendrix without his own bag at the Supermarket.
Don’t get me wrong guys, I love papers and paper products, but, I like plastics as well having grown up playing with Lego blocks, plastic toy guns, plastic action figures. I mean, hell, my Dad use to lovingly hit me with plastic hangers whenever I have tantrums haha!
Anyway, here’s the scene from the cash registers of a local Supermarket last Sunday. Long queue on all payment registers…20 to 25 minutes including the packing time. Remember, I don’t have a bag and they need to improvise using recycled carton boxes to pack my items. This usually takes 5 to 10 minutes tops back when they use them plastic bags.

Was I pissed-off? Blood-thirsty? Fishing for a fist-fight? Not really. Cool-headed as I was, I begun to observe. Observe not only the gorgeous ladies waiting on the line, but, the commotion over M.O.B. Not long enough, an old timer beside me breaks his silence. “What kind of a policy is this!? They don’t allow plastic bags and then they sell you polyester counterparts and they get extra income! It’s a money-making crap!”.
ECO Bag on sale at a minimum price
Blood pressure shooting up and all.
Oh Yeah! I sensed resistance to change even if the change is for the better. It’s a natural thing though. Getting people out of their comfort zone is not always easy.
Here’s where I played my part being well exposed to Environmental Management programs at work and being a natural chatter-box. Red to the Old Dude, “Yeah, sure they will profit from the polyester bag. It may even be their biggest seller now and it’s everywhere”. The guy looks at me and probably said at the back of his head “Who the hell is this smock and who asked for his opinion?”. But, before he could finish that sentence, I told him, “It’s just a one-time buy, won’t cost much, and unlike plastics bags, won’t end up in landfills and rivers and helps the environment get a breather.”I was expecting an outburst, but, to my surprise, he totally agreed! Exact words to Red, “Dude, you’re right. People should definitely support this policy. I mean, it’s not a breeze now but we need to change some ways if we want a cleaner place.”.
I swear I could hear the theme song from Captain Planet and the Planeteers cartoon show after he said that.
After Effects? So who makes and who breaks on all this? Obviously, Environmental Management efforts gets a boost! We may not see the bigger picture here, but the cost of managing our waste is very high. Government budget for this has never been enough. On the flipside, if you are making dough out of selling cartons and we know that giant supermarkets generate tons of cartons every month and this means money for Scrappers. If Supermarkets now continue to use recycled cartons to pack groceries, this will affect the scrap business in some way.Let’s not forget the plastic bag manufacturers. This is definitely a sales killer for them. Personally, I would eventually lose my stock of plastic grocery bags that I re-use as garbage bag in my room. I would have to buy garbage bags for this….plastic again? Damn!
Really depends on which side of the fence you’re on.
Red’s Take on M.O.B.
My take on this is on the Fat Bottom line! Papers cost more, Plastics cost less, Papers biodegrades and trees grow, Plastics takes thousands of years to decompose, etcetera, etcetera…So for me, 100% support on M.O.B.Man, other countries have been doin it for decades (see 80s films of sexy ladies doing shopping and they usually gets mugged or raped while holding brown paper bags). Next time I go for groceries, I will bring My Own Bag!Besides, I promised the pretty cashier that I will not give her a hard time packing my items the next time I shop by having My Own Bag! Did I just repeat that?
No to Plastics Bags! Just bring your Own Bags!
Lastly, I paid almost 5000 pesos at the cashier for my grocery items. What the hell happened!!!? Oh well, life.
This is Red, Thanks for coming inside my Room…The Red Room.

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