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Commodity chain - Essay Example

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The traditional grocery bags are composed of plastics and are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) which requires tremendous amount…
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Commodity chain
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The Commodity Chain of a Reusable Grocery Bag One of the efforts of the grocery stores to improve our environment is to replace the traditional plastic bags with reusable grocery bags. The traditional grocery bags are composed of plastics and are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) which requires tremendous amount of energy to produce and are harmful to environment. Reusable grocery bags can be made from several materials that includes biodegradable bags made from a starch-polyester (biopolymer) blend "Bags for life” made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), heavier, more durable bags, often with stiffening inserts made from non-woven polypropylene (PP) and cotton bags (The Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff, 2011).
Among the alternatives to the traditional plastic grocery bags, the study of Environmental Agency UK Draft Report showed that that cotton bags has the lowest potential for global warming. Compared to the traditional plastic grocery bags that is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), cotton bags can only pose to be harmful to the environment after using it 131 times compared to HDPE bags usage of only 3 times (The Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff, 2011).
Cotton, which is the basic material of reusable cotton bags are grown in 90 countries but the four main producing countries of cottons were China, India, USA and Pakistan accounting for three quarters of the world’s output of cotton (UNCTAD). Most cotton bags however came from India and China due to the ready availability of raw materials (cotton) and cheap labor.
The process begins with the harvest of the soft fiber that grew around the seeds of the cotton in a cotton plantation in India (or China). The fiber is then spun into thread to make it into a yarn. It is then weave into a cotton cloth which can be later sewn into a cotton bag.
The plantation, harvest, spinning, weaving and sewing is done India (and China) due to the cheap cost of growing the cotton (land) and also the cheaper cost of labor. Unlike other products where the several stages of production are separated, producing the cotton bag can be done in one country where a single or a few number of company can do the planting the raw materials to producing the final goods because it only use one raw materials (cotton) and the process of its production is uncomplicated. The process of producing it is however labor intensive which made it a competitive product of India and China because of its lower labor cost.
When the final product is already manufactured, the reusable cotton bags then undergo a process called supply chain (the latter part of commodity chain), where it is being distributed to grocery stores across the country. The grocery stores in turn make this reusable cotton bags either counters for packing the groceries.
Customers who frequent to grocery stores to buy their supplies then uses it and can reuse it again the next time they make our grocery purchases.
Word count: 495
References:
Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff (April 13, 2011). Green Supply Chain News: Battles of Plastic Grocery Bags Takes Another Turn, as Study Says Even Re-Usable Totes not much Better. The greensupplychain.com. online. Available at . Retrieved on November 21, 2011
UNCTAD. Market information in the commodities market. Online. Available at . Retrieved on November 21, 2011.
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