No Plastic Bags at Al-Osra

12 Sep, '08

They’re certainly not the first supermarket in Bahrain to try to get rid of plastic bags and wrappings and I hope it won’t be the last either, but my friend Muneera – who is no stranger to health and healthy lifestyle herself – informed me that yesterday Al-Osra started their environmental experiment in earnest by replacing the packing plastic bags with paper ones. She thought – as I do – that this is a good thing to explore, so off I went with my trusty Flip video camera (thanks again go to my brother Jamal for allowing me to steal it!) and investigated.

You could view the results yourself of course, but what I came out with in the end is that much more than these “anti plastic bags” campaign, educational campaigns about environmental responsibility and education are very much needed for both adults and children in this country.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Miss 22 says:

    Isn’t paper as harmful as plastic? Maybe more. More pollutants caused and takes equal time to decompose. Cloth bags are environmental friendly..

  2. Sam says:

    The big piece missing from this jigsaw is recycling. I’m assuming the brown paper bags they’re using were made from recycled paper, and that they are in turn recyclable and bio-degradable.

    The unfortunate thing is, these brown paper bags wont be recycled or reused in any way, shape, or form. Once you get your shopping home, they’ll most likely be thrown away into a rubbish bin which will later be collected and taken to a landfill site with the rest of Bahrain’s crap.

    What they should have done was introduced the fabric ‘Bags for Life’.

    Mahmood, what Flip model have you got? I’ve just purchased a Flip Mino from the US and it’s great!

  3. mahmood says:

    I agree. It doesn’t seem to be well thought out yet, but it is a good first step. It shows that they are thinking about the environment (or at least another marketing thing, we’ll soon know)

    But as it is a trial run of 3 days, I hope that their customers will tell them what they think and based on that a decision should be taken.

    In their defence, they did introduce the cloth bag before other chains, so this is their 2nd step in the environmentally conscious stream.

    I’ve got the Flip Ultra. I’ve just looked at the Mino and think it must be the newest they have. I also just realised that they’re released sexy accessories, like the underwater housing! That should be real fun to get 🙂

  4. Silver says:

    Mahmood,

    Great job, next time interview a hot girl, then you will get more attention!!

  5. team eqcco says:

    Great step as you say Mahmood, plastic is in no way acceptable considering the many harmful effects it has. Camels in the Gulf have been found dead filled with plastic they have eaten, this is not to mention the sea life destroyed every year by plastic. Its toxicity and its almost endless life make it absolutely urgent to get rid of it.
    Taking your own reusable hemp or cotton organic bag with you is of course the best option, but we need a lot of awareness to get there. Thanks for this, it was very interesting to watch.
    Camel Story

  6. loki says:

    I wish them the best of luck. I’ve stopped using plastic bags and bring my own fabric bags whenever i go the supermarket. And its great to see more and more people doing the same. Any initiative like this is great.

  7. Sopwith says:

    But what am I going to put my cat poo in if they get rid of plastic bags ? ? ?

  8. loki says:

    A perfectly reasonable and valid question. What indeed?

  9. victoria says:

    The paper bag is a start but it still involves cutting down trees to produce the paper so why not cloth bags ??.. in Germany this is common practice and if people want to use platic or even paper bags they have to pay extra for them… this does deter wastefulness….even re-using plastic bags is better than throwing them away after one shop.

  10. Mike says:

    All thats really needed is to start using the domesticated and trained plastic bags which can be readily imported from China. Those bags don’t run away and flutter about all over the neighborhood…………
    But as long as the cheaper wild strain of plastic bags are used we will continue to have the problem of human kind keeping them under control…….
    Perhaps a switch back to cloth diapers will also illiminate those unsightly deposits alongside the roads and petrol station parking lots as well?
    Mike da ugly American

  11. Yasser says:

    Jawad Supermarkets have also changed their shopping bags. They switched from the normal plastic bags to new biodegradable and recyclable bags.

    They also sell the re-usable bags at a very good price, which come in two sizes, small, and extra large !!

    Not sure if this paper bag idea is such a good idea afterall, because as mentioned previously – once they’ve been used, they will definitely be binned !!

  12. mahmood says:

    That was a three day experiment which has now ended. I know that they have gone back to plastic bags – much to their checkout staff’s relief! – but I don’t know the result of the 3 day stint.

    I’ll talk to the managers there and get their reaction as a follow-on piece to this. When I have the time!

  13. Sous says:

    Nice clip. I love what the boy said in the end :). The cats will smell them and die :P. Wicked! And what about cat poo? Do u mean the litter or the actual crap?

  14. Charlie says:

    Silver,

    The “girls” interviewed were hot! Did your momma teach you no manners?

  15. Sopwith says:

    Sous,
    I meant cat shit. I reuse the plastic bags from the supermarkets to collect the cat crap from the cat trays along with the soiled litter. The plastic keeps the smell in when I deposit them in the bin outside. No plastic bag goes un-reused.

    Paper wouldn’t work so well as it breaks when it gets damp. A friend was moaning about Al Osra bags last weekend when she bought some frozen food and the condensation caused the paper bag to burst. She was seriously not a happy teddy.

  16. That was a great approach but sadly was a temporary one!!

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