Just what made that little old ant think he could climb a rubber tree plant?

August 20th, 2009

Well in this case rubber tree plant is just a play on words for plastics and trees. We did get your attention though didn’t we?

According to Sustainablebusiness.com the residents of city of Seattle, Washington have voted down a 20-cent fee for paper and plastic bags, according to an Associated Press story that said about half of the mail-in votes had been counted late Tuesday night. The AP reported 58% against the fee and 42% for it. The city had previously approved the 20-cent fee for bags distributed by supermarkets, drug stores and convenience stores.

The question this raises is what consumers are saying about green initiatives sponsored by their government or business when they have a direct impact on their own pocketbook.

We are all well aware of the negative impact that deforestation has on our planet and that a paper bags do come from trees. We also understand the issues associated with the lack of biodegradability of plastic products and the landfill issue that creates. Retailers however have stepped up by providing good quality reusable bags at a reasonable cost. Suppliers have begun to step up by including bags with a higher percentage of recycled and biodegradable materials.

What the consumer in Seattle seems to be saying here is that this is the retailers problem rather than our collective problem. What the Seattle consumer also seems to understand is that the cost of doing business (buying bags) is already figured in the price they pay for products today.
It will be interesting to watch how this issue evolves city by city and state by state over the next couple of years.

What should procurement professionals tasked with purchasing these products do when regardless of their personal beliefs they are still required to buy these products?

Everyone knows an ant can?t climb a rubber tree plant.

High Hopes.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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