Sunday, December 18, 2011


I'm not sure if I've blogged about it, but I call myself a Save the Earth girl. This is true most especially when it comes to paper, plastic and styro. I switch off lights during Earth Hour, and everytime it's not needed.

I grew up with our printing press where every inch of paper is essential. Rejected works are reused for other purposes, and scrap paper were sold to a recycling company. I never had to buy paper during my school days, and my parents would always frown upon not using scratch papers. Growing up, this turned out to be a good upbringing (like with most lessons that my parents instilled when we were younger--which I used to not understand).

In the office, I'm one of those people who'd load printers with used paper if printing drafts for approvals. While most employees think it's such a burden, I gladly go out of my way to do so.

I used to envy Korea, where you purchase every plastic bag you use for groceries. This prompted people to bring bags and/or boxes. In the UK, particularly in Marks & Spencers stores, they also do the same or you can purchase Eco bags and use it again when you shop at M&S. I even used my M&S bags while shopping in other countries. I wished that the Philippines would do the same; passing by the Smokey Mountain for decades, I know how plastic bags really don't decompose.

When I was still working in Ortigas, I was so happy when Pasig City government launched Straw-less Fridays and mandated that fast food chains use paper for packaging instead of styro and plastic. Take out food are now in brown paper bags. The SM Hypermarket in Pasig also had Bring Your Own Bag Wednesdays. Bring a bag for your groceries, otherwise you'll be carrying them in brown paper bags or in reused boxes. From then on, I always carry my reusable bags whenever I do my groceries, Wednesday or not.

Soon enough, the craze expanded, and now most--if not all--SM malls are selling Eco bags. I now have at least five of those.

So yesterday, I planned on shopping til death at SM Megamall. Of course I brought my Eco bags. After hours in the department store, I head to the counter and pay for my stuff; brought out my Eco bags for the bagger to use. I had to tell her, "Miss wag mo na iplastic, may dala akong reusable bag."

Now the funny thing is, she goes, "Okay po ma'am. Ipa-plastic muna po natin bago ilagay sa Eco bag, kailangan po kasi yun." I was so pissed that I couldn't help but tell her, "So miss, ano pang sense na mag dala ng reusable bag kung ilalagay mo rin sa plastic?"

Unbelievable. I sure hope this is an isolated case. Otherwise SM is just doing a side business selling reusable bags, and is just trying to appear as if they're trying to help in reducing waste.


Nicole said...

Hi! I just want to say that the exact same thing happened to me in SM North EDSA. The saleslady wouldn't let me use the reusable bag. I had to argue with them for a good number of minutes, and they had to call their supervisor to ask if they could allow it. So ridiculous! They made a few suggestions; they would put it in a plastic bag, and then put it in my eco-bag, and one of them even said that if I really didn't want a plastic bag, I could just take the item out of the bag when I got out of the store. I was so pissed off, I tell you. I couldn't believe it. I am sorry to find out that this was not an isolated case. I am however happy to see that there are other people who are as bothered about this as I am. I've been meaning to write about this for a few weeks now, and stumbling upon your blog has finally convinced me that it's time to do it. Thanks! And I hope that more people resolve to become like you.

Katia said...

Hi Nicole! I, too, am glad that someone is as concerned as I am! Maybe it's best to write about it. It's time they re-think of that procedure, and provide a workaround than having people buy reusable bags but still require that purchases be in plastic bags. Post a link of your post soon!