In the dim and distant past I was a manager with Marks and Spencer. I didn't get very high up in the chain of command before I moved on to work elsewhere, but it looks good on a CV!
I was reminded of my past employers when I woke up to the news from GMTV (not my favourite programme but someone has to watch it!) M and S, it was announced, are to charge 5p per carrier bag in their stores.
Putting aside all the memos we had from M and S HQ when I worked for them, calling on staff to discourage excessive use of carrier bags (to save on costs), this move by the company is to be welcomed. The move is designed, at least in public, as an environmental policy and if, as I hope it will, it leads to far fewer carrier bags being used only once and then dumped, that is an important step forward.
There are of course business benefits as well. Carrier bags are an overhead for retailers. Reducing such overleads increases profitability of the business. I'm sure M and S shareholders, ahem, will welcome that!
So hopefully this will turn into an example of how environmental good practice can make profitable commercial good sense as well.
Another feature on GMTV today was about bottled water. This stuff is hugely environmentally damaging. Tap water is fine to drink. It has to be. That is a regulatory requirement. Tap water is also locally sourced. Bottled water is hugely environmentally damaging, is shipped often from thousands of miles away, and produced a huge amount of waste packaging in the form of plastic or glass bottles, which themselves took up vast quantities of resources to make.
British tap water is amongst the best in the world. It's so good, what we use to flush the loo is good enough to drink!
So start using tap water for drinking and stop being ripped off for overpriced, environmentally damaging and unnecessary bottled water!
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