I just read this article on the CBCNews website regarding the reduction in orders for plastic bags across Manitoba. It seems that, ever since supermarkets started selling reusable bags, the number of orders for plastic bags has dropped by about 5 percent.
Great news for the environment.
This is a recurring theme too. As soon as retailers offer reusable bags, orders for plastic bags take a dive.
Another example is Australia. Between 2002 and 2005, plastic bag usage dropped from 6 billion to 3.92 billion. That’s around 35 percent less plastic bags! This was helped by the federal government’s campaign to encourage Australian’s to carry reusable bags to the supermarket. This campaign spawned the “Green Bag”, which is available at many supermarkets across Australia.
Individual retailers can make a difference too - regardless of the government’s policy. For example, Fred Meyer has revealed that it used 3.5 million less plastic bags in 2006 than in 2005. The reduction was a direct result of their reusable grocery bag program.