I was at Ikea last night picking up some stuff for home DIY (I love working with my hands 🙂 ) and at the checkout, realized that Ikea now charges 20 sen for a plastic bag. Its no wonder that they have dropped the price of their big blue bags to RM1.90 each. Fortunately, I bought small items which I could throw into my Rootote.
I was also at a Carrefour hypermarket recently where at the cashier lane, I was informed that they were not giving out plastic bags but I could purchase or “rent” their reusable bag at 50sen. I later read they were charging something like 20 sen for plastic bags. Again, into the Rootote they went.
These are the present “Go Green” efforts by the local hypermarkets and stores. I read about public hue and cry over the additional costs for plastic bags at Carrefour (although some lauded the approach) but I don’t know how well received it is, generally or how long it’ll last.
The problem as I see it is that many Malaysians do reuse the plastic bags we get for our garbage. I do anyway. Recycling or composting is not done in a big way here, and if you live in an apartment and have wet rubbish you don’t really want to compost or recycle because the heat and humidity will really make your place stink up. So, what alternatives for garbage bags do people have? Buy them? Kind of defeats the purpose of cutting down on the use of plastic bags right?
That said, I’m all for using your own reusable bags for shopping or grocery shopping. I primarily use the RuMe bags and I keep the Mini in my bag all the time. I may need more because I switch bags now and then and forget. I also carry around my Envirosax for larger bulkier objects – after all I already own it so I might as well use it. And now that Ikea is starting to charge for plastic bags, the RuMe Macro I own finally has its use for carrying bulky objects home from Ikea!
The initial cost of owning a reusable bag can be comparatively high (e.g. RM29 for a RuMe Mini) but if the stores are going to make it the norm to charge for plastic bags, I’d think the long term benefits outweighs the initial cost, don’t you? 20 sen a bag can really add up after a while.
Of course, you don’t need the compact little Rume bag. You can always reuse old plastic bags or paper bags or get the cheaper reusable bags sold by the supermarkets or any foldable reusable bag available in the market. Just keep a couple in your car or handbag so you don’t forget.
One firm favorite of mine is the black one you see in the picture above which I got from MidValley Megamall one year. Its perfect for carrying large heavy items. For groceries, I happen to prefer the RuMe as it looks more fashionable and is easier to throw into my handbag so I don’t forget when I grocery shop after work 🙂
Have you made it the norm to carry a reusable bag? What are you using?
Stay beautiful and Go Green!