SM Biodegradable Plastic Bags

One night, alone in my bed, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was working overdrive. My attention was somehow directed to the trashbag we had hanging by the doorknob of my bedroom. It was an SM shopping bag and I was puzzled by what was written at the bottom: BIODEGRADABLE.

I was itching to turn Alfred’s laptop on and do some research right there and then. But I had already turned off the wifi router downstairs and I really didn’t want to make myself up more by walking all the way down and then up again. So I decided to leave it until the next day.

I forgot all about it though. The next day, I wracked my brain for what I wanted to research but couldn’t remember what it was. Today, I saw three or four blue SM plastic shopping bags on a chair – obviously my parents went shopping on Sunday afternoon. Then I saw it again: BIODEGRADABLE.

Was it possible? I asked Alfred. We finally looked it up.

I am disappointed that there is not much press about SM’s – the largest shopping mail chain in the Philippines – initiatives like this. I mean, they should totally use it in their advertising. Here’s one story I found on Google. And there are a lot of shoppers who blogged about this too. They have photos posted as well, which is what kept me from posting my own photo of the bag. Haha.

BUT. There seems to be a question of proper disposal still.

On the Wikipedia entry on Biodegradable Plastics, it says

Proper composting methods are required to efficiently degrade the plastic, which may actually contribute to carbon dioxide emissions.”

Okay, I’d really like to know more about bioplastics and the proper disposal of such. Like, would it better if we use the SM bags to line our trash cans or would that mean it would also end up in landfills and would still not be decomposed as fast as literature says it should? I’d rather not research much on it right now though. At least not now. So if you have any useful links that can tell me more about this, be sure to send it over?

I appreciate that SM is taking steps to address the problem of environmental degradation, at no obvious added cost for the consumers. Maybe Robinson’s and Ayala Malls will follow suit? They should also encourage buyers to bring their own reusable bags.