Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hello 2009! Plastic bags on the wane

Have we passed a Gladwellian "tipping point" in our attitude towards plastic bags?

Canwest writer Tiffany Crawford thinks so. She muses in an article this week that "double-bagging has become the new double-dipping." As long as a year ago Crawford preciently speculated that "Plastic bags could be a thing of the past." At that time all she could point to was actions by a single grocery store (Whole Foods -- a Gladwellian "outlier") and a couple of tiny communities that had banned the use of plastic bags. But this past year many little things seem to have made a big difference, and Canada's retail industry has seen the handwriting on the wall (isn't that what marketing departments are for?). They committed to cutting plastic bag use in half in 5 years.

This is a risky move for retailers, especially at a time when they are hard hit by a recession.

But while retailers are ready to solve the problem, the plastics industry is still in denial, continuing to push for taxpayer-funded recycling programs as a solution to the plastic bag problem.

Our local stores and communities will share in the benefits of Zero Waste. The plastics industry still has to learn how to adapt.

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