Are Disposable Bag Fees Worth It? One Study Indicates Fees Work!

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Making Sense of Disposable Bag Fees

In dealing with the negative impact of disposable plastic bags, there are options. Bag bans have increased in popularity, with many cities and states claiming plastic bag bans work. Plastic is bad for the planet, and bans reduce plastic, so it seems like a good solution. While plastic trash and litter are real problems, some consider bans a drastic solution. Therefore, some communities consider bag fees an effective and more realistic fit. But do plastic bag fees work? We look into one city’s experience with a bag fee.

Reducing Plastic in the Prairie State

In the summer of 2021, Edwardsville, Illinois, put a bag fee into action. This measure was a long time coming and faced several delays because of COVID-19. On July 12, 2021, large retailers in Edwardsville were required to charge a 10-cent fee for each disposable paper or plastic bag distributed. If shoppers opt to not use bags or use their own reusable shopping bags, they will be exempt from being charged. The fee aims to reduce the buildup of disposable trash and litter.

Getting the Metrics on Plastic Bag Use

Researchers at Goshen Education Consulting wanted to determine the effectiveness of the proposed bag fee in Edwardsville, so they put together a plan. A few weeks before the fee took effect, researchers observed shoppers outside two local grocery stores on different occasions. Then in October, after the fee had been in place for a few months, researchers went back to count again. Over the three months that the bag fee had been in place, disposable plastic bag use dropped by 800 percent.

The fee discourages shoppers from using disposable bags, which means fewer disposable items are entering the waste stream. Researchers hope to delve deeper into the impact of the disposable bag fee by looking at data from local recycling and landfill facilities.

Help Your Community

Bag fees reduce the use of disposable plastic, which helps individual communities and the planet. You can help your customers go green and use less plastic by creating custom reusable bags to promote your brand. Reusable shopping bags are helpful for people living in areas impacted by bag bans and fees, but they’re also beneficial for shoppers who just want to go green. These bags will serve as a regular reminder of your business. As your customers use your bags, they’ll think about your brand while displaying your message to a broader audience.

Design Your Custom Reusable Bag

Let us know if you have a bag in mind or if you have questions about selecting the right bag for your brand. We can help! We hold ISO certification and have worked with many industry leaders, including American Express, Bank of America, Carnival Cruise Lines, Pepsi, The Home Depot, Whole Foods, and more. We want to help you, too.

Call us with questions may you have at 866-222-0949 or get your customized quote on any of our reusable shopping bags for marketing and retail use.


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