Supply as part of the solution..

Received yet another plastic enclosed mailer from the credit card company . This one I opened . A letter to say they have expanded the list of partner airlines etc . An email would have sufficed to communicate this information instead of the multi-color print on glossy paper and envelope covered in plastic.

I’m starting to suspect that the plastic industry is home to marketing geniuses. Think about it . They have managed to convince magazines that they need to cover every single copy in plastic . They managed to sell the idea that a sturdy envelope needs a plastic cover. They undoubtedly have the advantage of a product whose per unit cost is negligible in monetary terms when produced at a mass scale.

The interesting thing here is – one plastic company possibly paves the way by convincing a magazine to use plastic.Which opens the doors for other plastic companies to approach similar companies because the product (i.e plastic bag for these purposes ) is a commodity item.

The focus is largely on the demand side of the equation – inspire users to shift to alternatives to plastic bags , get retailers to make a shift to biodegradable bags. But , part of the solution can come from the supply side – the folks who make the plastic bags .

Plastic bag manufacturers are well poised to make the shift to bio-degradable materials – paper , bio plastic , cloth etc. They have the client base , they understand the economics of the biz and will focus on getting options that are cost effective (in monetary terms) alternatives to plastic.

Instead of a plastic v/s non-plastic face-off the situation can be altered by plastic manufacturers switching to earth friendly begin with progressively even if not completely.

* monetary – cost is mostly understood in monetary terms . A plastic bag is cheap in terms of money , expensive in terms of planetary impact. Most bio degradable alternatives today are relatively ‘costly’ in monetary terms while being cost-effective in terms of planetary impact

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