Plastic bags: Mall owners should play their role – NST

Thin plastic shopping bagsImage via Wikipedia

NST 24 Aug 2010 POOJA STANSLAS, Subang Jaya, Selangor

THE recent move by certain state governments to introduce “No Plastic Bag” on certain days of the week is very heartening.  The core message is to promote a society which is environmentally conscious and serious in reversing environmental degradation caused by unsustainable development.It has been well documented that plastic bags which are not biodegradable find their way into our oceans and seas. Endangered marine life such as turtles and dugong consume them and die.  However, what I find oddly ironic (and amusing, if it is not such a grave error) is the generosity with which supermarkets dish out the plastic bags on non “No Plastic Bag” days. I wonder whether the message even struck a chord with them, that in order to save the environment and our endangered species, we should limit the use of plastic bags; if possible eliminate their use.

Often I tell cashiers to place the purchases in a big bag to avoid using too many plastic bags. As much as I try using recyclable bags, I admit it is difficult to remember making them a part of my shopping life.
Supermarket owners must actively contribute to preserving the environment, without being directed by politicians to act, in a socially responsible manner.  I urge them to introduce paper bags. It would be welcomed by all and the cost easily covered by the huge profits they are making.  Corporate capitalism demands capitalists to be ethical and help advance human development, and not merely be concerned with lining their pockets.

I urge the supermarkets and big malls to start the ball rolling now


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