On a recent trip to Estonia, I wandered into H&M (as you do!) and found a fabulous blouse which I couldn’t resist. So, I headed to the cash desk to pay for it. “Do you need a bag?” asked the very nice guy who was serving me. “Yes, I do” is said, having just my handbag with me and this being an impulse buy!
That’s an extra 20 cent he said. I’m cool with that. Then he produced a small paper bag and put my blouse into it. “Hold on” I said “what’s all this about? I’ve paid for plastic bags in the past but never for paper. What’s going on?”. He explained that paper is also bad for the environment and we use too much of it and, in fairness, offered to refund my money. I wasn’t bothered about the 20 cent, but something was niggling at me.
Later that evening I realised what was bothering me. If I pay for a plastic bag, it is because the government levies a tax on plastic to discourage us from using it. So – where does the 20c go that H&M charges?
Thinking that I was really onto something here (along the lines of boosted profits from sales of paper bags) I contacted their customer service. They responded within the hour. … and what a great answer.
The bag charge that we ask our customers to pay is a charity technique in which all the money raised goes towards UNICEF to help those in need.
We want to work in a sustainable way and encourage our shoppers to become more sustainable by reducing waste.
Most bags end up in the bin and then in landfill so by charging for bags we reduce use and reduce waste.
Thank you to Elliot and Salma in customer service for answering my questions so speedily.… and Congratulations to H&M. What a great response – and what a great idea!