7 posts categorized "Cheap Reusables"

March 30, 2011

Some Grocers Abandon Rebates for Reusable Bags

USA Today 3.25.11

20110316__USGroceryPushingReusables~1_VIEWER Grocery store chains including Kroger and Safeway are beginning to move away from the pennies-per-bag rebates they once supplied, saying they don't do enough to prevent customers from forgetting reusables in their cars or at home. In order to avoid plastic-bag bans and taxes, which could potentially cost supermarkets or their customers more money, many chains opted for rebates (credits), but they didn't produce the results owners hoped for.

Company officials said customer feedback indicates most want to use reusable bags, but it’s a matter of making it a habit. Kroger is utilizing plastic bag recycling containers and sprinkling parking lots with signs asking, "Are your reusable bags still in the car?" Kroger also holds bag design contests and giveaways and sends shoppers coupons for reusable bags.

Read about our stance on the downsides of cheap reusables here.

To read the full article, click here.

Image: USA Today

Plastic: Too Good to Throw Away

New York Times 3.23.11

18opedimg-popup Persistently avoiding plastic may seem key to combating over-consumption and the production of plastic-based materials, but, in reality, the issue is far more complex. In a recent Op-Ed piece, Susan Freinkel, a New York Times contributor and author of the forthcoming book Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, dispels the common misconception that suggests shunning plastic and settling for bag bans and fees will drastically alter the ethos of our culture.

Instead, Freinkel advocates for shifting the public perception of plastic as cheap and worthless to durable and profitable by eliminating its presence in disposables.

 Check out our "I'm not a . . ." or "Thank you" series, which offer affordable, sustainable alternatives to use-and-toss disposables like plastic bottles and bags.

To read the full article, click here.

Image: www.nytimes.com

November 16, 2010

Cheap Chain Store Reusable Bags Contain Lead

11.16.2010 Tampa Bay Online

Illustrating in no uncertain terms the dangers of cheap, low-quality reusables, recent studies have found that the inks illustrating reusable bags sold at some chain stores contain alarming levels of lead. Stores involved include Winn-Dixie and Publix.

Read about our stance on the dangers of cheap reusables here.

Check out the complete New York Times piece here.

Update: And for those interested, here is the original article that broke the story.

October 14, 2010

The Great Atlantic Garbage Patch

WHOI 8.20.2010

Scientists with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Sea Education Association have been collecting data concerning the presence of plastic in the Atlantic Ocean for several decades. They've recently published a pair of studies analyzing the data. Here are a few highlights from the writeup in Oceanus:

Assessing 22 years of data collected by SEA ships ... researchers found that more than 60 percent of the tows contained detectable plastic debris. Average densities rivaled those reported from the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” ranging from 1,400 pieces per square kilometer in the Caribbean to more than 20,000 pieces per square kilometer in the Sargasso Sea.

Yes, you read that right. Average density of plastic debris in large areas of the Atlantic "rivaled" the Pacific Garbage Patch. If that's not scary enough, it shattered the Pacific Patch's record in other areas.

...the highest value recorded during the 22-year period was 580,000 pieces per square kilometer at 24.6°N east of the Bahamas. The region, where 83 percent of all the plastic debris was collected, is known as the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, a part of the ocean bounded by a series of wind-driven currents, such as the Gulf Stream, that collectively flow clockwise around the subtropical North Atlantic.

In areas of the North Atlantic, we've recorded plastic present at 30 times the amount of the now-legendary Pacific Patch.

Additionally the research has lead SEA and WHOI to a few answers and a number of intriguing new questions; If PET plastic bottles litter our beaches and continue to make their way into the ocean, why have we found almost no trace of them in the oceanic samples?

Learn more by reading the complete Oceanus article here.

FTC Combats Greenwashing

Ftc-issues-new-labelling-guidelines-for-ecofriendly-products-bkt_5488 Inc. 10.7.2010

The Federal Trade Commission recently revised guidelines for products being labelled as "degradable," "eco-friendly," or "recyclable."

This is part of an effort to put an end to the disparity between what companies and consumers consider an environmentally-friendly product. Any label making such claims will have to be able to back up such declaration with "competant and reliable scientific evidence."

The FTC will be able to take action if it considers a company's marketing to be deceptive or flat-out untrue. This would initially come in the form of a cease-and-desist order, which becomes a fine with further violations.

Check out the whole article on Inc.com.


June 09, 2010

McDonald's Recalls 12 Million Toxic $2 Cups

GreenBiz.com 6.4.10

Shrek's not the only one turning green over McDonald's recent recall of 12 million Shrek Forever After-themed glasses due to the existence of the toxic metal cadmium in the paint. GreenBiz reports, "As part of the voluntary recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned consumers to stop using the glasses immediately.

The $2 glasses feature characters from “Shrek Forever After” and could cause a danger to children if they come into extended contact with the paint, the cadmium leaches into their skin and they touch their mouths.

McDonald's said that it will provide refunds for the glasses, and will be posting instructions on June 8 on a website set up for the recall."

Read the article here.

Our Take: For years we've warned against the use of cheap reusables. From giveaway bags that fall apart to cheap bottles from unknown origins, the risks associated with these products is far greater than the savings associated with them. We hope this is a lesson people take to heart - you get what you pay for. 

October 16, 2009

Cheap Reusable Bags are Tomorrow’s Landfill

The Envirosax Blog – Oct. 8, 2009Envirosaxcheapreusable

 All over the globe, more and more people are carrying reusable shopping bags. “Unfortunately, these cheap reusable shopping bags are often more of a marketing ploy than a great choice for the environment. To be effective in reducing waste, reusable bags must be able to be reused time and again, and therefore must be extremely durable… Don’t be fooled into thinking that polypropylene is an environmentally sound alternative. You may even find the term ‘biodegradable’ on some of these bags, but the standards for this term is that the bag must be biodegradable in a ‘commercially managed compost environment.’…”

Read the entire blog entry here.

Our Take: This blog is right on. Cheap reusables flooding the market place have become the new disposables. Read more in our article on cheap reusable shopping bags.