Saturday, October 04, 2008

Shake your money-maker!

I have pointed out before that the reason that businesses are ready to jump onto the AGW bandwagon is because they have worked out that they can make a massive pile of cash from it.

The Nameless One reinforces this idea with yet another example: that of charging for plastic bags.
Now, I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but the reason why shops have started to charge for bags isn't because they have been won over to the environmental cause. No - the reason why they have done this is to make money.

Of course it is: businesses are there to make money. And carrier bags cost money.
So, by charging for carrier bags, stores may win new customers and will reduce costs. It isn't so much surprising that some stores have stated charging for bags; what I find more amazing is that it has taken them so long to do so, and that more haven't jumped on this bandwagon.

Quite so. After all, the cost will have been included in the price of the goods that you buy anyway: in this wonderful new Dark Age of environmental austerity, they can not only include said costs in the price of everything that you buy—they can also charge the costs to you directly as well.

What's not to like (from a business's point of view, anyway)?


Sneaky Weasel said...

Here in Slovakia(and I'm sure in other countries too), charging for bags is the norm.
It works too- knowing you have to buy a bag encourages people to re-use them, and the bags you do buy are sturdy and worth having. Unlike those useless bags you get from Tesco, in fact Tesco is the only supermarket here that dishes out the horrid free bags.
Good for business and possibly eases landfill, whats not to like?

The Nameless Libertarian said...

I've no idea whether the bags we are offered are sturdy and reusable; I don't but them on principle.

There are many things not to like about this, but what really sticks in my throat is the hypocrisy of the companies who claim that they are being environmentally friendly by charging for bags. Bollocks are they; they are simply trying to make more money. Now I believe business has every right to make money and to do what is good for their companies; I strongly object to them when they are being hypocritical, lying bastards. And, like DK, will continue to point out examples as and when they come up.


Harry J said...

DK, I've just watched a fascinating video. It covers some of the topics alluded to in this post so I thought I'd link to it just in case you fancied having a look yourself. It's libertarian and then some.

TheFatBigot said...

We will hear a lot more about plastic bags in the coming months because it was Gordon's first major policy announcement. In fact I think it might be his only major policy announcement since the coup.

The BBC will track statistics for use of plastic bags, choose only the statistics which suit them and proclaim Gordon the great redeemer of polar bears for his far-sighted move.

This past week's historic level of bias is as nothing compared to what will come over the next 18 months.

Timothy Wallace said...

'what I find more amazing is that it has taken them so long to do so'

M&S tried to charge for bags 5 or 6 years ago, and were widely condemned for trying to screw more money out of their customers - perhaps they were just 'farsighted', then..

That said, if I were a firm I would try very hard to look like I was being 'green' (though little real effort would go into actually being 'green') because of the amount of money people will pay to do their bit/look like they're doing their bit in the name of the environment.

Roger Thornhill said...

When I were a lad and began fending for myself, Sainsbury's used to charge th're'pence for a bag.

On my trip I bought myself a bag. Years later when I moved out of my flat, I still had the bag. 1986-1993.

Charging for bags means companies might afford biodegradable bags.

I am trying to import said bags*, but the price differential is very high and uptake is glacial due to bags currently being a freebie.

Shops, charge for them. Please. Make it possible that no discarded bag will be seen blowing in the wind after a couple of weeks and will re-enter the food chain. The more you buy the cheaper they will become. Soon, biodegradable bags will become so cheap they will become cheap enough to be free again.

Recycled is not the answer, because a recycled bag still hangs from a tree for 2 years then breaks up into small fragments to get into animals and leech their chemicals into the soil. Plastic is still plastic. Reusable or biodegradable.

* really biodegradable bags that get eaten by microbes in 6 weeks, not a plastic that just crumbles and remains there for 300 years.

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