The Truth About Plastic Bags

As a small business owner you may be one among the growing trend to stop using plastic bags, and in place are choosing to purchase paper alternatives, and reusable totes. Or perhaps public opinion and customer inquiries have you now considering replacing plastic bags, for a more eco-friendly alternative.

It is clear, that there is now a strong case for taking action, especially with the recent bad press regarding plastic bags. If you hadn’t heard, committed proponents have convinced officials in San Francisco, and some companies, (most notably Ikea), to ban plastic bags altogether.

But before taking action, be sure to base your decision on facts, which will help you determine the best course for your business.

Did You Know?

1) Plastic Bags Are Made From Domestic Gas, Not Foreign Oil.

According to the American Chemistry council, in the United States, plastic bags are made from natural gas, 80% of which is sourced from North America. Be sure to check for a country of origin, or ask if plastic bags are made in the USA before you purchase.

2) Plastic Bags Are Fully Recyclable

Reuse Plastic BagsOver 1600 possibilities exist for a plastic bag to begin a second life. Reclaimed plastic is used in the construction of playground equipment, building and construction products, fencing, and of course, renewed plastic bags.

Despite the various reclamation uses, only 12% of plastic bags are recycled, however this is steadily on the rise according to the 2007 Municipal Waste Report conducted by the EPA. Increasing the recycling rate for plastic bags will also help solve the litter problem. Since people need to be educated and nudged to get them in the habit of recycling plastic bags, we’ve outlined later in this article a few effective options for retailers to encourage recycling.

3) Plastic Bags Save Businesses Money

If you compare the cost of 1000 8 ½ X 11 Paper Merchandise Bags, to the same size, and quantity High Density Plastic Merchandise Bags your savings will be 50%. That’s not including what you will save on shipping, as paper bags can weigh as much as 9 times more than a similar number of plastic bags.

Plastic bags, especially high density poly bags, are more resistant to tearing and stretching. As a result, HD bags are able to hold more merchandise than paper bags, meaning you will use less plastic bags than paper over time.

Do Your Part, Encourage Plastic Bag Recycling

Reused Plastic Bag DragonSet up a plastic bag recycling bin prominently within, or outside, your shop. Encourage your customers to return plastic bags when they visit again. Get your store listed in the directory for bag and film drop off centers at

Create awareness for plastic bag recycling and get new customers into your shop with a fun contest. Organize a promotion, where the person who returns the most plastic bags wins a shopping spree in your store, or receives a one time use discount coupon.

Over 65% of people say they reuse plastic bags as trashcan liners. Encourage creative ideas for reusing bags that are not recycled. Download and print our reuse tips PDF, and handout copies to customers.

It’s Time To Bag This Article

After learning the facts, you may have a different perspective on how plastic bags affect our world. We hope you share this new found knowledge with your customers. Remember that effective recycling begins with proper education. Be sure to point your customers to this article, as well as the following web resources: