Retailers: Offer Branded & Reusable Shopping Bags Now...To Prevent A Ban on Plastic Bags From Becoming Law
Although the California Senate voted to reject the planned ban of plastic bags from grocery, drug and certain convenience stores, that doesn’t mean that retailers should not be encouraging their use.
Despite this week’s statewide vote, leaders in many California communities, including Los Angeles and Santa Monica, are pursuing local plastic bag bans similar to the ones already in effect in California cities such as San Francisco, Palo Alto, Fairfax and Malibu. Nationally, Washington, D.C. now charges five cents for paper and plastic bags, while the city government in Austin, TX, is debating whether to ban plastic shopping bags altogether.
Every retailer should encourage reusable tote and shopping bags by offering them at their store—either free or for purchase at a nominal fee. Not only does it help to have industry self-policing, but it can make economic sense too—as every tote bag with your logo is like a walking billboard, advertising your company.
According to an industry study that I had mentioned in a previous blog, the average imprinted tote bag is seen by 12,000 people per year. Cost per impression is under a penny per view—so why wouldn’t every retailer use eco-friendly, reusable tote bags?
If the bags are under $3, offer them free with a $25 purchase, and have extras available for sale at $5. The ones that you sell will help to offset the ones you give away—so basically, you will have free advertising, while doing your part to reduce the carbon footprint of your customers—and keep the legislature away from your industry.