Disposable Plastic Bag Bans Work

Do disposable plastic bag bans work? A single-use shopping bag in a banned symbol.

Do plastic bag bans work? Single-use plastic bag bans have been around for years, and these measures are still being passed in cities, counties, and even states all over the U.S. and around the world. Advocates claim they are good for the planet and reduce plastic waste and litter, but proponents argue that bans are ineffective. A recent study looked into the effectiveness of plastic bag bans and revealed some interesting information.

Track the Movement

We have been tracking the bag ban movement for a long time, and you can see which municipalities have laws in place on our plastic bag ban map (link atop this page). The plastic bag ban movement is constantly evolving. This map is an interesting and engaging resource that provides a lot of background information and helps put things into perspective.

Sample Size

The research centered on five locations that have plastic bag bans. While these locations all have bag bans in common, they are in different areas of the country and passed their respective laws at different times. One of the sample cities has had a ban for 12 years, while the most recent city on the list has had a ban for almost two years.

  • New Jersey: Single-use plastic bags were banned in the Garden State starting May 4, 2022.
  • Vermont: Single-use plastic bags were banned in Vermont effective July 1, 2020.
  • Philadelphia, PA: A ban on disposable plastic bags became effective in Philadelphia in the fall of 2021 but was not enforced until April 1, 2022.
  • Portland, OR: A single-use plastic bag ban went into action in Portland on October 15, 2012, at large retail establishments.
  • Santa Barbra, CA: In 2014, single-use plastic bags were banned in Santa Barbra.

Bag Ban Impact

The research shows that these five locations are responsible for eliminating the use of 6 billion disposable plastic bags. That is a lot of plastic not in landfills or littering communities. Plastic is bad for the planet. Recycling efforts often fall short and are ineffective. Litter is dangerous to animals, their habitats, and our food chain.

Switching to reusable shopping bags is a great way to use less disposable plastic. The reusable design holds up under regular use, and one reusable bag can replace hundreds of disposable bags.

Your Brand Can Help

The bag ban movement continues to grow and expand, and these findings are likely only to encourage more growth. Bag bans effectively reduce trash and litter and streamline the waste stream. Shoppers in areas impacted by plastic bag bans have an immediate need for reusable grocery bags. Many people want to go green and use fewer disposable items, so consumers not affected by bag bans are still open to reusable grocery bags.

Custom reusable grocery bags are a great way to give your customers what they want and help them reduce their environmental impact while promoting your brand. We have a wide selection of reusable bags, including certified reusable bags, designed to a high standard to provide dependable results. Our bulk ordering makes reusable bags an even better investment by offering a low unit price.

Place Your Order

Custom reusable grocery shopping bags are good for the planet, cost-effective, and help your brand connect with customers. We’ve been helping our clients create custom bags and other products for years and would love to help you. Reach out if you have questions about any of our products or the ordering process.

Call us at 866-222-0949 or shop our full line of eco-friendly promotional items and get your custom quote.


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