Why do stores still offer plastic bags?



  1. 0 Votes

    Out of convenience to their customers and because it is just as un eco friendly as paper bags. The topic of paper or plastic has caused much debate both scientifically and ethically. My personal answer to this question is neither-bring your own bag (byob!) but people forget and stores want to keep their sales.

    Paper bags consume a significant amount of trees to be produced. Also, from start to finish the bags use lots of chemicals, water, electricity, and fossil fuels. While they will decompose faster than plastic bags, the resources used to produce them is much higher. Plastic bags themselves are a significant source of litter and use lots of natural gas. While both bags can be reused for different uses, ultimately neither is more eco friendly than the other. A blog post entitled plastic vs paper does a great job presenting various facts and figures.

  2. 0 Votes

    Because plastic bags are not only less expensive, but they are are better for the environment that paper bags! Plastic bags require less energy to produce and therefore produce less pollution, less water to produce, less energy to recycle than paper bags (though either is rarely actually recycled becasue separation requires so much more money than you can sell recycled bags for). In fact most paper and plastic bags both end up in landfills where NEITHER decompose; however, plastic bags do take up less space in a landfill than paper bags.

    This Washington Post article summarizes difference between paper and plastic.

    • 0 Votes

      thanks for the helpful information about plastic bags. this is an interesting topic, paper vs plastic. unfortunately, i think your first point is the only reason companies still use plastic though: $$$

  3. 0 Votes

         Because people still use them. Reusable bags are more common now than they used to be, but a lot of people still use the plastic bags at the grocery store. If stores were to stop providing them, some customers would probably protest.

         Some places, like Ireland and Belgium, charge people for the plastic grocery bags they use. Other places have banned them altogether. In the U.S., San Francisco and Oakland have enacted bans.

  4. 0 Votes

    Some stores don’t like Sam’s Club.  You have to bring your own or use the cardboard crates that the food or goods come in.  I have even heard of some grocery stores that do not offer plastic bags in their produce section. 

    It would be great if all stores could remove the complementary plastic bags from their checkout asiles, but the reality is people use them.  Since we currently have many stores offering a small discount if you bring your own bags (Target, Henrys) or a chance to win gift cards (Trader Joes) and not everyone is participating, we may have to move to a system that charges for bags.  In California there was a proposal (I believe it has died as a statewide measure) to charge $0.25 for each bag.  This would help wean the public off plastic (or paper) and help them bring their own.

  5. 0 Votes

    Because they are still allowed to (except for some cities in Washington State, who banned plastic bags from grocery stores) and it’s cost effective, for them.  When the day comes when paying a fine for using them outweighs the low-cost of buying them, they wont be offering them anymore.

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