Disposable bags, especially the plastic ones that have become almost ubiquitous at grocery stores and other retailers, are taking a huge toll on the environment – and on consumers’ wallets. In order to eliminate this source of environmental and economic waste, companies, cities, and even whole states are taking measures to discourage consumers and retailers from using disposable bags.
One of the most common approaches to combatting this problem is to create a financial disincentive for disposable bag use. It is difficult for consumers to realize the cost of providing this convenience when it is not directly tied to a cost they can see. Retailers are beginning to charge a fee to customers who choose to use plastic or paper sacks. In addition, some states have mandated all retailers to charge these types of fees. The hope is that when consumers have a more visible reminder of the expense their preferences create, they will shift their expectations and choose to use more environmentally friendly options.
Some cities and even a few states have enacted outright bans on the use of disposable bags. In some cases, these bans have been applied to large retailers that have the resources to more easily make a shift to an environmentally friendly alternative. In others, the prohibition has been applied across the board, with all retailers – and consumers – required to transition to other options.
Read the infographic below for more on why eliminating reusable bags has become such an urgent priority.