Monday, May 21, 2007

Plastic bags: more than meets the eye

The IKEA ‘No more free plastic bags’ campaign has certainly help market the company as an environmentally concerned organisation, and the results show that this CSR initiative has also generated some extra dollars as well.

The campaign launched on 22 April 2007 April, and results up to the 16 May show that in the same period, IKEA would have given out an estimated 288,000 plastic bags, but only 45,686 were purchased, resulting in an 84% in reduction. In response to IKEA now charging for its previously free plastic bags, 14,595 have subsequently been sold in that period which IKEA says is equivalent to over a 2000% increase in sales (something tells me that I was the only person who actually bought a bag before 22 April).

Hats off to the IKEA brand though for managing to cut costs, help out the environment, and further strengthen ties with existing customers despite charging them for something they initially got for free.

Interestingly enough, on the topic of the evils of plastic bags, creative director for Leo Burnett, Alex Lim dropped us an email containing a little known plastic bag fact from Japan. As to be expected from Japan, it’s a little quirky if not hilarious!

Over to you Alex:

“Plastic bags certainly contribute to a degree of environmental chaos, but ask most people and they will say it’s 'handy', 'practical' and 'hygenic'. The carrier bag goes back at least to ancient Egypt when cotton was first spun. After 3,400 years, this simple invention is still part of our lives,”

“During a recent trip to Japan, I was amused to find in my hotel room a nicely packed 36”x 25” clear plastic bag. Looking at the pictograms, I realized this simple lightweight plastic bag, besides being a handy carrier – can also save my life in the event of fire,”

“If I inflate it and tie it around my head, it should protect me from smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation. Well…that’s if I don’t suffocate myself to death first”.

Well there you have it, plastic bags can save your lives in a fire – lets just hope the heat from the fire doesn’t melt the plastic to your face…ouch.

No comments: