They are so prevalent, we almost take them for granted: plastic shopping bags. For most shoppers, the expectation of a shopping bag is built-in. When gathering their purchases, it is simply natural for the clerk or cashier to provide these simple, convenient bags so that customers can easily take their purchases to their next destination.
Despite the fact that these are fairly common items, many merchants have questions about whether they should provide shopping bags to their customers. After all, aren’t they bad for the environment? What is the real benefit to offering shopping bags? Should you simply get generic ones, or should you do some custom printing on them?
Here, we will answer all of your questions and more, so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing your next batch of plastic shopping bags.
Are shopping bags environmentally friendly?
Many people question whether plastic bags are truly harming the environment. Here are some facts to consider:
- Worldwide, human beings use more than 1 trillion plastic bags per year.
- This translates into 1 million plastic bags being used worldwide every minute.
- On average, a family will accumulate as many as 60 plastic bags in four regular visits to the grocery store.
These numbers give you a good idea that plastic bag use is widespread, and many people complain that these bags contribute to litter and waste, which impact the environment. However, it is important to look at alternatives, such as paper bags. When comparing plastic bags to paper bags, the numbers are not much better:
- Plastic bags use 40% less energy to produce than paper.
- Plastic bags are responsible for producing 80% less waste than paper bags.
- 70% fewer emissions that impact the atmosphere result from plastic bag use versus paper.
- 94% fewer wastes that are waterborne result from plastic bag use compared to paper.
This comparison may lead some merchants to question whether they should provide bags at all. However, there are a number of ways to responsibly use plastic shopping bags, and merchants who want to continue offering these convenient items to their customers have several options.
Biodegradable plastic bags are a popular choice, as they are much easier on the environment and break down quickly after being discarded. Many merchants also encourage people to recycle their plastic bags by returning them, using them in art projects, or re-using them in the household to reduce their impact on the environment. You can follow any of these initiatives and do your part for the environment while still giving your customers the convenience of useful shopping bags.
Do you use biodegradable bags in your store? Have your customers commented on them? How else do you show your store’s commitment to environmentally friendly initiatives?
How can plastic bags help me with marketing?
Customers notice unique bags; they are one of the most affordable options you have for showing off your logo and making repeated impressions on both existing and potential customers.
Furthermore, many people reuse their plastic bags, giving you even more chances to make an impression. Bags with unique designs often end up being incorporated into art projects, such as weaving them into other, more durable bags, or use in crafts. Bags are often kept so that people have an easy, convenient way to deliver and carry things to each other as well, meaning your bag might end up being passed to several different people throughout its lifetime.
Consider this: marketing your business means that you are always attempting to bring your brand to the forefront of a person’s mind. For many businesses, you may have to make contact up to seven times before a person will become your customer. Leaving an impression via your logo and design can be one way to do that, and plastic shopping bags are an affordable option.
But how much do plastic bags cost?
Shopping bags are surprisingly affordable. Just as an example, ANS Plastics can provide bags for as low as 1 cent per bag, depending on the number of bags you order, as well as sizing, material, and printing needs. This makes them exceptionally affordable for retailers, particularly when compared with paper bags, which can cost between 5 and 23 cents per bag.
What kinds of in-store benefits do plastic shopping bags provide?
When customers come to your store, they are looking for an easy and convenient shopping experience. Shopping bags are among the best ways to offer that. Customers appreciate being able to carry their purchases with minimal fuss, and are more likely to return when they have a positive shopping experience. Shopping bags are therefore actually a valuable part of giving your customers the kind of care and attention they want.
Plastic shopping bags are also helpful for your staff. At the end of a transaction, it is quicker and easier to package your customer’s purchases up, so that your cashiers can start serving the next customer as quickly as possible. This significantly reduces waiting times, keeping you from having annoyed customers who do not want to wait in line.
Shopping bags are a convenient item to keep in your store for the benefit of your customers. You also have many different options when it comes to finding high-quality, environmentally-friendly bags so that you can demonstrate your store’s commitment to going green. Shopping bags help you market your business and keep your brand at the front of your customers’ minds, and can help your in-store operations run smoothly while meeting customers’ expectations.
If you are interested in learning more about custom shopping bags for your retail location, contact ANS Plastics today. We can help you pick the right product for your specific needs.