Don’t trash this bag

On an afternoon stroll in London’s Camden Market I came across a colourful market stand promoting bags made of used packaging. I stopped by and got to speak to the man behind the idea of TrashyBags. TrashyBags is an initiative to do something of the situation in Ghana where the infrastructure to recycle used packaging is lacking. And they sure do, TrashyBags employs 60 people in Ghana who collect waste that can be used for making bags, backpacks and other useful things.

They collect and encourage the public to collect mainly plastic pouches and sachets that they wash and sterilise and turn into useful bags etc. Very creative and meaningful and does help the litter problem as well as it provides meaningful job opportunities.

No milk today?

In February this year Sainsbury’s launched a new packaging for milk, a plastic pouch. Already in April it was said that early sales of the bags, which use 75% less packaging than standard plastic bottles, had been double initial predictions.

Today Sainsbury’s is to become the first retailer in the UK to launch a full range of milk product s in plastic pouches. Sainsbury’s will now extend its use of milk bags to include not only semi-skimmed but also standard milk, skimmed and 1% fat milk.

Isn’t this a contradiction, aren’t we going backwards now? Are consumers not willing to pay for convenient packaging solutions any more?

I think that the combination of money saved and the environmental arguments will make enough consumers willing to shift to this and leave the milkman floating. It is going to be 7% cheaper for the consumer per 2 pint package and use 75% less packaging material. Consumer tend to react to “reduction of packaging”.

Apparently milk in bags is already a regular choice for 60% of consumers in such a wide spread of markets as Canada, Poland, South Africa and China.