What Are The Effects of Banning Plastic Bags?
Bag Bans Do A Lot of Good
We’ve covered how single-use plastic bags harm the environment, but what are the effects of banning plastic bags? Disposable plastic bags are very likely to end up as litter, and can cause a lot of harm to ecosystems and food chains, as well as clogging storm drains, and just being an eyesore. When single-use plastic bags are no longer part of the picture, what does that picture look like?
Bag Bans Prevent Litter
Disposable plastic bags are recyclable. But unfortunately due to the difficulty in recycling them, the majority of plastic bags will end up as litter. When bags are banned, that eliminates a major source of litter. When a plastic bag ban became official in San Jose, California in 2012, the effects of banning plastic bags was significant.
Between 2012 and 2016 there was a 76 percent reduction in plastic bag litter in local creeks and rivers, and a 69 percent reduction of plastic bag trash in storm drain inlets. Less plastic bag litter means there is less of a threat to animals and their habitats. A reduction in litter found in storm drain inlets means it takes less work to clean them out, which saves time and money. There is also less chance of flooding due to the storm drain system failing when it is needed.
Economic Effects of Banning Plastic Bags
If the ban does not also cover paper bags, it is likely that retailers may experience an increased demand for paper bags immediately following the introduction of a ban. This may result in an increased spending on paper bags. There is a decrease in spending on plastic bags, so it balances out.
As shoppers begin to get into the habit of bringing reusable bags, these expenses should decrease altogether for retailers. Retailers do have the ability to sell reusable bags to their customers which will increase their revenue.
Bag Bans Create Demand for Reusable Bags
When single-use plastic bags are implemented, there is an increased demand for an alternative. Shoppers are always going to need a way to carry their purchases home. Reusable shopping bags are gaining in popularity and can easily do the job of disposable plastic bags; without any of the drawbacks of plastic.
Everything Has An Environmental Impact
Reusable bags also have an environmental impact. It comes down to managing the impact. Because they are using existing materials, reusable bags made from recycled materials like, non-woven polypropylene or RPET, have a positive environmental impact. Recycling plastic does use energy, but that is offset by the durable construction that allows for long-term use.
What Your Brand Can Do to Help Consumers Impacted by Plastic Bag Bans
Plastic bag bans reduce trash and litter, and therefore reduce the negative impacts caused by trash and litter. Plastic bag bans save municipalities money by way of less trash to pick up. Bans can also save retailers time and money since they no longer need to provide plastic bags.
The effects of banning plastic bags can extend to your marketing. Creating custom reusable bags fills a need for your clients and prospects, while also increasing your brand’s awareness. Request our reusable bag catalog to learn more about the different styles of bags available and feel free to contact us with any questions.