When my wife and I were having dinner on the second floor of a restaurant I looked down at the street below and noticed a girl in a school uniform carrying a bag that boldly said “Use Me”. That’s not something you see every day, so I tried my best to get a decent photo of it, but we were a good distance away and there was a scaffolding in the way too.
Thinking about it later, I figured the slogan had something to do with the bag itself, rather than a fashion or lifestyle statement. The Philippines is pretty clogged with garbage, especially in the Manila area. The massive failure of the drainage system and flooding during the Ondoy hurricane last year is evidence enough of that. Personally, I’m getting tired of sweeping up garbage that regularly clogs the drainage opening that happens to be along the curb in front of my in-law’s house. It seems like most people that live in this area have no regard for where they dump their trash, or what impact it will have on their environment. The loss of life and property during the Ondoy tragedy apparently wasn’t lesson enough for people here to realize they need to change the way they behave.
Despite the massive hurdles in overcoming this common mentality, some groups are trying to make changes, one of which is an initiative to encourage bringing your own reusable bag to the grocery store. The main franchised grocery store in Antipolo is selling reusable woven bags that seem decent. I have a feeling that part of that is in the interests of maximizing profit, since they wouldn’t have to provide plastic bags if everyone used reusable bags, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Later, when I looked at the photo on my laptop and zoomed way in I could see that my guess had been right. The bag had a large, stylized ‘RE’ above the bolded words ‘Use Me’ that we weren’t able to see from the 2nd floor with just our eyes. So I guess it’s a reusable bag that’s meant to seem edgy.