By R.E.E. Mancesa
“They are the unwelcome souvenirs from a trip to the grocery store: plastic bags.” So writes Whitney Mitchell in Paper Nor Plastic for the New River Community College, as he adds that “(our) options on how to dispose of them are limited, and the fact remains it will take 10 to 12 years for each one to decompose” – and this is if at all, since studies show that plastics, especially in bulk, can actually take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
This is why the introduction of green bags – reusable shopping bags – has been a welcome development, allowing consumers to use and reuse (and reuse and reuse and…) special bags whenever shopping.
It is in line with this that the National Book Store (NSB), the largest bookstore chain in the Philippines, introduced its RED (short for Reduce Earth’s Destruction) bags, NBS’ “response to the ever-pressing challenge of reducing solid waste by limiting the use of plastic bags in retail stores. As the largest bookstore chain in the country, (we) recognize(our) role in the proliferation of non-biodegradable refuse, and (our) greater influence in reversing this harmful practice,” the company states in a prepared statement. This was, “(NBS) is saving the Earth one shopping bag at a time with its new reusable shopping bag.”
NBS isn’t the first to do promote the use of green bags.
Overseas, eco-friendliness is gaining attention for, among others, Stella McCartney, whose fully-sequined organic cotton tote costs $495; Anya Hindmarch’s “I’m not a Plastic Bag,” the popular environmental bag used by international celebrities, originally sold for only $15, but now sell over 10 times that price when bought on eBay; and Hermes’ Silky Pop, a handmade silk bag that folds into a wallet-sized calfskin pouch, costing $960.
More than a fashion statement, however, NBS hopes for the RED Bags to “help change the Filipinos’ consumption practices and do its part in caring for the environment.”
Avail of the RED Bag for P65, and get P0.50 off purchases when shopping using it. For more information, visit any National Book Store outlet.