The concept of the reusable tote is good in theory; however, in reality, reusable totes are no better than the plastic bags they are meant to replace. And, here is why. Check out the labels to see where the totes are made. I have been taking stock of these totes lately, and they are made in China.
My first inkling that this was the case was when I began looking at all those free totes I receive as gifts to recognize my generosity when I donate. I donate to a number of groups such as World Wildlife Fund, Earthjustice, and Defenders of Wildlife. One of the perks that is generally given when one donates is a tote or some type of item that may be fairly inexpensive. In order to give these items, the cost must be negligible.
I guess it didn’t dawn on me to check the tags for quite some time, but when I did, I found that all these free gifts were made in China. So I got to thinking that if these items were made in China, where are all those nice looking totes made that are being touted by the mega stores as an alternative to the plastic bags?
So, as I was waiting in line at the West State Scott’s a few night’s ago, I looked at the tags. The totes are made in China. One might ask – so what? Here is the dichotomy: the totes are to replace plastic bags which are hazardous to the environment. Yet, by requesting hundreds of thousands of the totes made in China, the corporations are contributing to the destruction of the environment – just in another part of the world.
So, while everyone here who buys one of these totes feels great about helping our environment, the production of these totes is destructive to the environment in another part of the world. Chinese workers make .44 cents on the hour and the air and water are horribly polluted.
I guess the choice to buy one of those totes doesn’t carry with it a guarantee of environmental friendliness to the developing nations of the world. So the next time you are tempted to purchase one of the Chinese-made totes to replace the plastic sacks – stop and think about just whose environment is being saved and whose environment is being destroyed.