Importing Climate Change

Sometimes the smallest of details expose the corporates who really match their money with their marketing.

Importing Climate Change
Photo by Maria Lin Kim / Unsplash

Sometimes the simplest things make no sense.

It's not only just governments and bureaucrats that make rather inexplicable decisions. The wokest of corporations do it too.

It's even more fascinating when those decisions seem at odds with their corporate goals.

Consider the curious case of retail behemoth Woolworths.

Their website paint them as a model corporate citizen, replete with pictures of green fields, a commitment to sustainability and saving the planet from climate change.

They have even reintroduced paper bags, made of 70% recycled materials and stamped with 'proudly made in SA' on the front.

I presume they have an appropriate stamp for every state.

Woolworths offer plastic bags too. These too are made mostly from recyclable material (80%). The catch is that they are manufactured in Germany!

Imagine the carbon emissions involved in shipping millions (maybe billions) of these bags to Australia all the way from Europe. It's a 16,000 kilometre journey that should be the stuff of nightmares for climate change concerned corporates.

As their website states:

As Australia’s largest food retailer, Woolworths Group has a responsibility to be a leader in responding to climate change.

Having noticed Woolies support for the German plastic bag manufacturing business, I had a quick scout around another supermarket chain to see what they were doing.

The obvious choice was the German owned Aldi supermarket up the road.

Their digital real estate also has claims to support their eco credibility too. It has some marketing fluff about using 100% renewable energy and targets of zero waste to landfill.

The ALDI website states:

When you visit an ALDI store, you can expect more than award-winning products at the lowest prices. You can expect an increasing number of healthy options, responsibly sourced products and a commitment to reducing our impact on the environment.

While their commitments are far less preachy and seem more practical than the woke Woolworths, the critical issue is where does the German family owned supermarket chain purchase their reusable plastic bags?

You guessed it, they are all made right her in Australia!

How is it that the largest food retailer in Australia supports German bag technology while the foreign owned multinational sources their plastic bags locally?

You may or may not regard this as an important point. That will depend on whether you think actions count more than words.

There could also be a super easy and totally justifiable explanation as to why importing bags from Germany is better for the environment and better for our economy than buying locally made ones.

While you ponder that, I'll let you know that the locally made ALDI bags are bigger and better too!

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