BRAIN FOOD: Look after the pennies in the bag

In the Canadian province of British Columbia, alcohol can be bought only from state-run outlets. The local government's Liquor Distribution Branch is responsible for controlling booze prices and for running the liquor stores, which have restricted opening hours. The LDB is also in charge of producing the stores' carrier bags. Each year, the branch supplies more than 20 million plastic bags to the shops - something employee Gordon Hunt began thinking about. The admin officer discovered that the bags' handles were 3mm thick and the body 1.5mm thick. Not very much, granted, but he thought the bags could be slimmed down. He suggested reducing their thickness to 2.8mm and 1.4mm respectively. The idea was accepted, trialled and executed, saving £30,500 a year in costs. And Hunt bagged £680 for the brainwave.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

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