Letters to the Editor: Supermarkets could give back

Congratulations to the supermarkets
for their support and participation of the going green movement. Because of
their involvement, great strides have been made in the general public’s
interest.

However, while being very sincere
in expressing congratulatory sentiments, I would like you to seriously consider
the following proposals to enable the achievement of even greater strides
possible.

Would you donate the proceeds from
the sale of plastic bags to schools to help in teaching and promoting the
awareness, urgency, need, benefits and practices of going green? It is obvious
that your organisations benefit from a reduction of packaging expenses by not
continuing to give away unlimited numbers of plastic bags. It is funny to see
how cashiers guard their stack of unsold bags as if they were full cartons of
cigarettes. This suggests that even at 5 cents each (rather than more as has
been suggested by some) the revenue is material.

Similarly would you consider
donating the proceeds from the sale of non plastic bags, which are mini bill
boards advertising your supermarket, to schools as well? I accept the fact that
the bags have to be made, printed and shipped at a cost but what is the value
of them to you as an advertising medium? It is ironic that the customer has to
pay $1 to be branded as a loyal “Supermarket X” customer.

Would you also consider reducing
the cost of your weighed food sold in the new type biodegradable containers by
20 cents per pound? The introduction of the new container is without question a
step in the right direction but apart from the biodegradable quality they are
very poor and heavy substitutes for the ones they replaced. The cost of the non
biodegradable containers was already factored into the cost per pound of food.
Now it is said that the new ones add at least 20 cents to the cost, which
suggest that the total cost of this switch is paid for by customers. It was
also raised that the cost of these new containers is three times the cost of
the old ones. Does one cost 20 cents? I would also ask that you continue efforts
to source a new supplier as the current containers are far from being adequate
replacements.

Food is essential for human
existence and regardless of the state of the economy. Supermarkets enjoy the
largest patronage of all business existing on the Island. The mix of purchases
of the average customer may have changed but most items are sold at a standard
mark-up, which includes profit. From all appearances, supermarkets do
well.  Customers could never think of
boycotting any supermarket but may tend to more actively support the one that
expresses a willingness to share in a more tangible way the costs of the going
green programme to benefit the whole community.

Lee Maragh

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