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Retailers discover the many benefits of reusable bags

ikeaMost mainland Europeans will laugh at the notion of this being a new concept, but the good news is that reusable bags are growing in popularity. And it’s good news not just for the environment, but also for retailers–they save money and can claim green kudos.

The US, perhaps a little late to the party (just like us in Britain), is now playing catch up, as ENN reports:

Several large retailers, including Stop & Shop, New England’s largest food retailer, and housewares store Ikea, now sell reusable shopping bags. Some groceries, including independent stores and natural foods chain Whole Foods, go a step further, offering credits of a few cents for each bag that’s reused.

There’s an upside for stores, too: Giving out fewer bags means the store saves money.

Some stores, like Ikea (which charges for the bags pictured here), can even move to a model whereby they charge customers for plastic bags in order to provide an extra incentive to bin the plastic and adopt the hardier reusable bag.

It’s all good stuff, although this Greenbanger has a confession to make: I use reusable bags some of the time, but I still collect plastic bags to use as free bin-liners. I know it’s bad, I’m trying to change.

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