Plastic and disposable bags are a form of pollution in themselves and are made from petroleum products. A big way to make an impact with your customers and reduce your store's environmental impact is to reduce the use of plastic bags. Park City was Utah's first town to ban large grocery stores from handing out free plastic bags due to the pollution that they cause.
Here are a number of ways to minimize their use in your store.
- Ban Bags - Depending on the nature of your business, you could forgo handing out bags at all. Banning bags may be a bit extreme for some businesses, but if you don't stock bags, then you have none to give away.
- Ask First - Before automatically sticking their purchase in a bag, ask your customer if they need or want one. If they aren't purchasing a lot, chances are they'll say no. Or they might even have their own bag they want to use.
- Reuse - Encourage customers to reuse their bags, or bring in their own. You could consider giving them a bag credit or a chance to win a gift certificate for bringing in their own..
- Use Eco-Friendly Bags - For those times when you need to give away bags, use bags more environmentally friendly bags with recycled content paper or bio-plastics that biodegrade over time. Encourage your customers to reuse or recycle their bags.