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Green Washing 101


Import Troubles and Green Economics

September 26th, 2008 ·

Which “green” are they after?

Wal-Mart has announced a new “cheap” reusable bag to be in stores this October. These bags are going to sell for 50 cents each and ony contain a small portion of recycled plastics. The store plans on decreasing its use of typical plastic t-shirt bags by 25% in the US and 50% in other countries. The new reusable tote bags are intended to help the green movement. But I can’t help but wonder which “green” Wal-Mart is really after. This bag is a good example of “green-o-nomics” or just plain Green-washing.The bags sell for 50 cents to $1 each - fair enough. But Wal-Mart’s cost is only 15 to 30 cents per bag, and they no longer have to pay to give away a 5-cent t-shirt bag in the process. So if they sell each reusable bag for $1 and it is used 20 times, that saves another $1. That’s $1.70 towards gross profit with an investment of 30 cents! Why wouldn’t Wal-Mart use a 100% recycled t-sack that can be made totally bio-degradable? Regardless of what Wal-mart does you can use them and have another way to set yourself apart.

Did I mention that the bag actually is made of plastic? It is PET or Polyethylene terephthalate (Wikipedia) - that is what plastic soda bottles are made from. I like the bag - just wish these people would start with the truth.

We say it makes more sense for everyone to continue to use low energy, recycled plastic bags that are both recyclable and biodegradable , and then to recycle them back into raw materials. That is the core issue in our opinion. 

Courtesy of Nashville Wraps and their Eco Friendly wrapping papper insuring we all have a Green Christmas. To read more about Green Washing Log onto