Malls and supermarkets in the Philippines will observe ‘Reusable Bag Day’ on Wednesdays from now on. They will not be giving free plastic bags to their customers, and they will also not be charging them a fee for preferring plastic bags. Plastic bags will absolutely not be available on Wednesdays.
The movement has already been in effect in bigger outlets like the Ayala Malls, Ever Malls, Hi-Top Supermarket, Isetann Malls, Makro, Robinson’s Supermart, Savemore, and SM Hypermart despite facing some resistance from customers.
The aim is to bring about a real change in public awareness and practice – forcing people to shift from using plastic bags to reusable bags.
However, one of the key issues that is keeping many form using eco friendly bags is that they are expensive. A well known environmental group EcoWaste Coalition has requested retailers and stores participating in the drive to bring down the price of their eco-friendly reusable bags, which will ensure that customers on a tight budget will also willingly come on board.
By giving the reusable bags free or at a discounted price, the stores will help customers to retain their preference for a product that helps the environment, they say.
The organization also advised retailers to start schemes that encourage customers to make and bring their own reusable bags.
Also, by encouraging local business units to make bags, costs could be brought down and the message to implement ecological solid waste management, waste prevention, reduction, reuse and recycling could be brought hoe to the public.
The campaign was launched last month by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in partnership with the National Solid Waste Management Commission, Earth Day Philippines Network, and the retail industry under the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association, Philippine Retailers Association and some other participating stores.