The bag ban movement began over a decade ago and has continued to grow as more people want to reduce the negative impact of single-use plastic bags. This movement has created an exciting opportunity for brands, businesses and organizations to market with reusable bags. Our daughter brand, Factory Direct Promos, is a leading manufacturer of reusable bags and eco-friendly promotional items and they are very familiar with efforts to ban single-use plastic bags.
For a number of years, they have maintained a map following the bag ban movement. Since they are so tuned into the movement, Factory Direct Promos noticed a trend of states banning single-use plastic bags. This lead to their series, States Ban The Bag.
Reasons Behind Bag Bans
The most common reason for banning single-use plastic bags is to reduce the use and negative implications of plastic. Single-use plastic bags provide a convenient way to carry groceries home from the store, however, it turns out they also provide a lot of baggage. While single-use plastic bags are convenient when they are being used, after they have fulfilled their purpose, they can be responsible for a number of problems.
- Low recycling rates means more nonrenewable resources must be used to produce more bags.
- Plastic bags are not biodegradable, so when they end up in landfills they contribute to the problem of landfills reaching capacity.
- Picking up plastic litter is time-consuming and expensive, however, not cleaning up this litter can lead to additional problems and expenses.
- Plastic litter can damage or compromise drainage systems, causing damage and leading to costly repairs.
- Animals and their habitats are at risk from plastic litter.
Bag Bans Provide a Solution
For many people, the convenience of single-use plastic bags is not worth the trouble. This has been the motivation behind many of the single-use plastic bag bans that have been passed. Communities have become tired of the litter and trash and are frustrated by the ineffectiveness of recycling. Banning single-use plastic bags provides the solution communities need. Bag bans certainly require a change in habits, but by eliminating the use of plastic bags and the problems are also alleviated.
History of Bag Bans
The bag ban movement got underway in San Francisco in 2007. Almost immediately, cities, towns, and counties throughout California began passing their own bans. The movement spread outside of the Golden State as cities in other states began to pass bag bans. California again set an example when they became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags in 2016. To date, six states have followed California’s lead and passed their own bag bans and several more states are working towards passing state-wide bans.
States Ban the Bag will be an ongoing series that looks at the efforts to ban plastic bags at the state level. Each ban has the same goal: to reduce the negative impact of single-use plastic bags. However, the way each ban comes to be and the details are always different. And each ban is a reminder that creating custom reusable bags is a marketing opportunity that should not be missed. In fact, research from the Advertising Specialty Insititute shows that giving your customers and prospects something they need and will use such as a reusable bag, will make them more likely to do business with you.
Factory Direct Promos looks at each ban and tells the story of what inspired the ban and how the ban came about. Check out the first post in the States Ban the Bag series to learn more!