London Councils is considering either banning or placing a tax on plastic shopping bags to help curb landfill waste. They say London is “facing a landfill problem because Londoners annually use 1.6 billion bags, which take 400 years to decompose.”
Buying a decent bag for your laptop can turn into an epic quest if you’re at all picky—there are a hundred bulky or badly built bags our there, and some flat-out ugly ones that look like they were designed by camels. A member of Ask Metafilter posted the following request earlier today: “I need a bag for a man with a computer.” His qualifications included that it should be padded, stylish, affordable, and not too bulky.
A Borders cashier wouldn’t give Allison her copy of Harry Potter without a plastic bag. A mindful environmentalist, Allison refused, even after the cashier stated that the bag would serve as Allison’s proof of purchase. When Allison pointed out the absurdity of using a bag as proof of purchase when she had a receipt, the cashier:
…rolled her eyes and said that if I didn’t want the bag, I could throw it away as soon as I left the store. I exclaimed that that was certainly the least environmentally friendly thing anyone could do, and she just pushed my book, a bag, a poster and my receipt at me and said, “Next.”
Allison’s letter to Borders, and their response, after the jump.
We never know what to do with those annoying produce-protecting mesh bags from the supermarket. Thanks to a handy Instructable, we now know to turn them into scouring pads.
As you get them, shove bags in the top hole; as you need them, pull them out of the bottom hole. (I fit 15 medium-sized bags in my bottle.) Having the plastic bags at hand-my keeper will be hanging by my back door-should encourage reusing them. Plus, they look a lot neater packed in that bottle.
Nifty! We think we’ll put ours under the bathroom sink because we use our Target bags as bathroom garbage bags. —MEGHANN MARCO
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags; supermarkets across the city will retrain their employees to ask: paper or biodegradable plastic?
The Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance, written by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and Co., sponsored by six other supervisors, gives major supermarket chains with more than $2 million in annual sales six months to make the switch to biodegradable bags. Pharmacies and retailers with at least five locations have one year. Violators face fines of up to $500.
Supermarkets have let economics guide their choice between paper and plastic. Paper bags cost four cents, while plastic bags cost a penny. The largest San Francisco supermarket hands out 125 million plastic bags each year.
Proceeds of up to $1.75 million (that’s a whole lot of bags) from the bag campaign will go to American Forests, the nation’s oldest non-profit citizens conservation organization, to plant trees to restore forests and offset CO2 emissions,..IKEA projects that the number of plastic bags used by their U.S. customers will be reduced by at least 50% from 70 million to 35 million in the first year. This program was launched in IKEA stores in the UK in late Spring 2006, and reduction has been an impressive 95 percent.
The program was very popular in the UK, and we love those IKEA shopping bags, so we’re all for it. We imagine, however, that a lot of people won’t be.—MEGHANN MARCO
Today, Coach dropped a trademark infringement suit alleging Target sold counterfeit versions of a popular purse, the Python Signature Striped Demi.
When we saw party girl Carrie at one of Gawker’s hot, sexy Manhattanite parties, we — attached in tandem, belly to flabby belly, by the rusty staples of the artificial and obnoxious royal ‘we’ — made our way over to her to make our move.
Kate’s letter is reminder of the power of the consumer to change to course of human destiny, or at least, product development.
• Grab a refurbished Philips DVP642/37B DVD player for $30, shipped, from Philips Outlet. Image says out of stock, but the indicator says it’s in stock. Not a bad player at all—supports Xvid and Divx downloaded files played from burnt discs.
• Sportswear retailer Altrec.com has an ‘Extreme Savings‘ event, where you can wail the most wicked gnarly discounts from 30 to 60% off regular prices. Brands include The North Face, Burton, and Patagonia.
We’re not always gloom and doom around here (although we will cop to occasionally getting lost in our flaming logo and pasting beveled song lyrics onto photoshopped self-portraits; in our defense, those lyrics are always from Phil Collins’ seminal understatement, But Seriously…). We know that sometimes companies do right by customers and we like to hear about it, especially when they are “anonymous” astroturfs sent like so much chalk to soak up our bile. Anyway, what we’re saying is, a company did something nice.
Neal Decker is a handbag designer in New York. After seeing our story about Urban Outfitters ripping off small designers, he wrote in with his own experiences with big-brand boning: