I know next week is blogging about our projects, but what I'm writing about this week semi-relates to my project so I must explain it a bit.
I did a podcast on the plastic vs. canvas bag question and what is currently going on in Austin. Specifically I focused on what retailers are doing to get people to switch to canvas. I went to HEB (off west slaughter) about two weeks ago to take some pictures of the $0.99 canvas bags they sell. I was first surprised when I didn't find any of these bags out for sale. I ask a cashier and he said that HEB was storing all the bags for Earth Day, April 22. He pointed to a sign which said you could bring in five plastic bags and exchange them for canvas bags on the 22. I thought, "they're not selling them now because they don't want to run out on Earth Day. I guess that makes sense???? ". I took a picture of the sign and put it in my podcast.
After the trip to HEB I told my wife we needed to start using canvas bags (because I did my project on canvas bags so we should probably start using them). She agreed and said she would go in on Earth Day and exchange our hoard of plastic bags for some canvas. She went to HEB yesterday and it turns out that HEB was not giving the canvas bags away. What the display sign failed to say is that you must purchase something from HEB to get a coupon. Once you have your coupon you can then trade 5 plastic bags for one and only one canvas bag.
What a joke! You mean your going to not sell any canvas bags leading up to your big advertised giveaway, then on Earth Day your going to make people buy something from your store to only get one canvas bag. My wife said many people were there trying to exchange plastic for canvas (which is really good), but most of those people seemed upset that HEB was making them buy something and that they could only get one canvas bag. As a side note, before I started this project, I thought HEB would be very receptive to interviews or ideas on there canvas bag program, given their website and propaganda at their stores. However, after the project I found that HEB was unfriendly toward my request compared to the Randall's grocery chain.