Posted by: miggins | March 19, 2009

An Idea to Encourage Corporate Responsibility

The other day, I was walking into a WalMart, (never a very pleasant thing – did I lock my car?  am i being followed?).  There was a trashcan outside the store which was literally overflowing with trash.  However, I estimated that about 60% of the visible overflow ‘trash’ was actually recyclable bottles and cans (more Mountain Dew and Big Red bottles, not so much water bottles, but plastic bottles nonetheless).

trashcan2

Here’s the idea.  What if there was a volunteer group who would go dumpster diving to retrieve these recyclable materials from the front of grocery stores, malls, concerts, ballparks, and other places where plastic bottles accumulate?  You could dress the team in green, highly visible tshirts.  Their goal:  to embarrass the public but more importantly, the retailer into more responsible action.  Just think if a fellow citizen was going through the trashcan making up for the laziness of others by retrieving bottle and cans.  Not for personal profit, but simply because it’s the right thing to do.  Wouldn’t that make an impression on you, particularly if there was an equally large bag of recycled material next to the trash?  Taken even further, you could plant your own recycling option next to the company-supplied overflowing trash can.  Maybe only do this on Saturdays when the traffic is highest.

Now, imagine if you’re WalMart of Target or the Mall operator regional manager and you walk into your own store and see a recycling option next to the trashcan.  Then you go inside and ask when this program was implemented, only to find out there is no program.  Wouldn’t that be embarrasing if some individuals were taking action on their own?  I think it would turn heads, get people thinking, and prompt change.  It would probably get on the local news, at the very least.

Now, doing this in airport TSA security lines is another story altogether…

What do you think? 

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