Put Down the Plastic
As a growing number of cities begin to charge a fee for the use of plastic bags or ban their use entirely (Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco), plastic bags are still largely overused across the United States. However, one small Vancouver, British Columbia grocery store has decided to take the overuse of plastic shopping bags into their own hands with a bit of a different approach.
While no local legislation legally bans plastic bags throughout Vancouver, the East West Market has recently been giving customers without reusable bags a startling surprise. Rather than simply doing away with plastic bags as a whole, they decided to use them as an opportunity to shame their plastic bag using patrons. The bags read a number of humorous and embarrassing lines such as “Into the weird adult video emporium” and “The colon care co-op” just to name a few.
The message that the East West Market is sending is clear, consumers need to stop using plastic bags and make the jump to reusable tote bags. By shaming unprepared customers, the message that they’re sending is strong, plastic bags are a very real environmental hurdle that must be overcome. The following stats from the Center for Biological Diversity further illustrate the significant impact that the excessive use of plastic bags has across the United States.
Center for Biological Diversity
- Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each year
- The average American family uses 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year
- Only 1% of plastic bags are recycled
- 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags each year
- It takes more than 500 years for a plastic bag to partially degrade
The list of unsettling stats goes on and on, it’s evident that plastic bags are a problem, but what’s the solution? Reusable tote bags are a viable alternative to single-use plastic bags that can drastically reduce environmental impacts across the country and the globe.
Reusable tote bags come in all sizes and variations. Some even come insulated to keep chilled or frozen items fresh until you get home. Additionally, you’ll never have to worry about your bag breaking leaving you scrambling to pick up your groceries as they roll in every which way as these bags are built to last. No more pasta sauce on your new pearly white sneakers, hooray! Beyond having more carrying capabilities than plastic bags, they’re also a cost effective method of advertising.
If your organization is looking to spread a green initiative or even if you’re just looking for a useful product to give employees or clients, reusable tote bags are a great way to show that you take pride in caring for the environment. Pick your bag, pick your color, pick your logo and you’ll be well on your way to showcasing your brand in a positively green light. As if that isn’t enough, according to an ASI study, the average promotional bag receives 3,300 impressions at a cost per impression figure of 2/10 of a cent. At that rate, reusable tote bags are essentially walking billboards. Additionally, 42% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of advertisers who source environmentally friendly products. The numbers don’t lie, go reusable, go green!