Employees and customers are encouraged to use reusable shopping bags, backpacks, and other sacks instead of plastic bags. For in-house operations, a company can purchase non-plastic containers (or biodegradable plastic bags) for trash cans, housekeeping, food storage, and other uses. Businesses can provides bags to customers, sell a reusable bag as an alternative option, charge a fee for each plastic bag they provide, or provide a credit for customers who bring their own bags. Giving a credit or discount to customers with reusable bags encourages bringing bags as well as reducing the cost of supplying bags.
Encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags reduces the number of plastic bags going to waste streams and landfills. Reducing the number of disposable bags also reduces demand for petroleum byproducts and natural gas, the raw materials needed to create plastic, as well as air pollution from plastic bag incineration at solid waste facilities.
- Read more about the benefits of eliminating plastic bags.
Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice
- Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates
Examples of Boston Area Businesses that Encourage Using Reusable Bags
A Small Sample of Biodegradable Plastic and Reusable Bag Suppliers
- American Plastic Manufactures: Plastic Bag Myths
- Care2: Eliminating Landfill Waste One Bag at a Time
- eHow: Ideas for Garbage Disposal Without Plastic Bags
- MassGov: Use Fewer Disposable Shopping Bags
In The News
- “Plastic bag bans are spreading in the United States” Treehugger, April 2014
- “Stop & Shop offers ways to ‘green’ your next shopping trip” April 2013
- “Apple retail keeps it green during fire sale” Apple Insider, March 2009
- “Whole Foods Market Bag Ban Results” Plastic Bag Ban Report, April 2008
- “Whole Foods Sacks Plastic Bags” USA Today, January 2008