The story of the environmentally-friendly bags

August 7, 2010 at 7:55 am 10 comments

On visiting Metro last weekend I was happy to see that they have got onto the Environmental bandwagon and are encouraging the use of cloth bags as opposed to plastic bags. Of course you need to buy these bags for Rs. 99 each which I don’t mind paying because it is a one-time investment and I can use them again and again. The bags are quite strong and large and can accommodate a lot of groceries at one time.
Is there a ‘but’ coming up? Yes you guessed it. There certainly is. Considering that Metro is not giving these bags away for free, and I am having to pay Rs. 99 for each one that I buy, why am I then forced to promote their 3 sponsors who have obviously given them the money for the bags? Am I missing something here?

Metro is not a charity or an NGO so it is absolutely not justified that they should have it both ways. Either I pay for bags that are not defaced with so many large logos, or I get them for free – then of course I have no reason to complain. What say you?

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mackers  |  August 7, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Agreed. It seems that being environmentally friendly comes at a price. Metro seems to have jumped on this bandwagon for profit, and not out of a deep concern for our environment and future well-being. Not that most businesses aren’t solely motivated by profit, but if they wanna achieve the environmental street-cred, at all, they might as well have given it a more than a half-hearted try.

  • 2. Vic  |  August 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

    It is odd that a large department store or mall would want to diminish their own brand value by letting shoppers walk around sporting other brands. My guess is that the bags idea was suggested by some relatively junior staffer (or the ‘seth’s’ kid, fresh home from studies abroad), who then was arm-twisted by some lazy and unimaginative senior manager (think ‘Dilbert’) into getting the project funded from external sources, instead of capitalising on and leveraging the brand value.

    An initiative like this should be funded from the shop’s own marketing budget, since the bags constitute high ‘OOH’ value. Shoppers should not be allowed, even, to carry bags sporting other logos, and this can be done gently by offering shoppers holdall bags on entry, that fit directly onto shopping carts, to keep their handbags/laptops.

  • 3. Armaghan Saqib  |  August 7, 2010 at 8:56 am

    By the way this bag is Rs: 50 in Lahore.

  • 4. Armaghan Saqib  |  August 7, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Any environmental benefits from such moves are also questionable. We are ignoring the elephant in the room. is an eye opener for people concerned with environment.

  • 5. Shahzad Ahmad  |  August 7, 2010 at 10:04 am

    JA, please find time to write this to Metro and probably a letter to one of business regulators. In this case, probably competition commission.

    Sound small little thing but it should not go unnoticed.

    Many thanks for pointing out this.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jehan_ara, KARACHI ECONOMIST. KARACHI ECONOMIST said: […]

  • 7. Asadullah  |  August 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Agreed totally.

  • […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

  • 9. Mackers  |  August 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    @ Shahzad Ahmad : Are you serious? Metro is well within their right to sell the bags for whatever price they wish. While we as customers might moan, and maybe even take our business elsewhere, why would and why should the competition commission have anything to do with it?

  • […] using plastic bags. Fast forward 25 years and we now know that plastic bags are bad for us. We are being motivated to use cloth bags […]


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