It's a new world. Shopping bags - reducing the impact thereof - are at the leading edge of creative marketing. And so they should be as we get through 10 billion of them a year in the UK.I read an article recently on how shopping bags are not only made in china but shipped back there from the UK for recycling. It's crazy, we need to change our habits.
Smart: Sainsbury reduced the plastic content of their distinctive new orange bag by 43%, it contains 33% recycled plastic and this proportion is being increased. Still not great for the environment they'd be the first to admit but better. They've also been offering those nice(r) 100% recycled reusable 'bags for life' for a long while.
Smarter: the Anya Hindmarch bag. You'll all know the story (we are what we do, london fashion week, Keirah Knightly, blah, blah) but you may not have known that you can get one of 20,000 of these from 8am on the 25th, store location details here on a first served basis. My guess is you will also be able to get one on eBay about an hour later. The original lot released were fetching anything from £40 to £175 - the organisers got quite upset about this, but actually isnt it just another part of the mystique/buzz marketing? The same happened with gmail invites.
Smartest: Okay yes you do have to love the Anya Hindmarch thing (its so Viridian - get a-list stars to flaunt something and eveyone loves it). But just for the sake of argument if you just took the objective as getting a large part of the population to reconsider and reduce their throwaway supermarket bag use I suspect this is even smarter: on 27th April there will no NO BAGS (ie none of the usual disposable ones) in any Sainsbury store. Instead they will be giving out around (they expect) 7 million of those 10p bags for life for free. "We want to make it as simple as possible for our millions of customers and thousands of colleagues to take action now" said their Customer Director, Gwyn Burr. I hope they keep it up, maybe do it once a month. there's nothing like habits being jolted. We turned off email for a week at St Luke's once and it was really interesting what it taught us about how we usually communicate. There's nothing like changing behaviour, to change your thinking. The Hindmarch bag is a big idea, but this is a big jolt. Oh yes and it does go rather well with their 'try something new today' campaign too.