If you’ve been to your local grocery store lately—even if there are no active bans on single-use plastic bags in your area—you’ve no doubt been exposed to the push toward the use of re-usable shopping bags in their stead. Perhaps you’ve had to pay a small fee to use a single-use plastic bag, or perhaps you’ve seen receptacles encouraging recycling of your old plastic bags, or perhaps your grocer or other retailer has promoted giveaways or the sale (for a nominal fee) of re-usable shopping bags.

Why are single-use plastic bags being banned or taxed out of existence?

The answer is simple: they’re bad for the environment, they clog landfills (or worse, get into lakes, rivers, and oceans), and they are dangerous to marine life.

The plastic used in these bags don’t break down completely, but instead photo-degrades, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment or get swallowed by marine life and other animals (an estimated 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually).

With the average American family using almost 1,500 plastic single-use shopping bags a year and only 1 percent of those bags returned for recycling, it’s no wonder single-use plastic bags are in the crosshairs of lawmakers, environmentalists, and other concerned citizens.

Here’s the Latest

The push to ban or limit their use continues to gain steam around the United States as well as the world. Below are some quick summaries of the latest efforts:

  • Beginning in April 2019. Kroger’s QFC supermarket chain stopped offering single-use plastic bags at all of its approximately 65 stores operating in the Puget Sound region of Washington State and around Portland, Oregon. Additionally, the chain has added displays at all locations to encourage consumers to buy reusable bags, with some of the proceeds of those sales being donated to The Nature Conservancy, a US-based charitable organization dedicated to protecting the Earth’s air, lands, and waters. QFC also continues to offer customers the ability to recycle their single-use plastic bags.
  • In related news, Kroger, parent-company of more than 2,800 retailers around the United States that currently distribute an estimated 6 billion single-use bags per year, announced a long-range goal of eliminating their use in all of its stores by 2025.
  • Following the leads of California and Hawaii, New York state passed a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, effective March 1, 2020. The ban applied to most single-use plastic bags used by supermarkets and other stores. It required consumers to pay for paper bags or reuse their own reusable bags. Proceeds from the sale of paper bags support buying reusable bags for low income customers as well as the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
  • In New England, the supermarket chain Big Y, announced that it will phase out single-use plastic bags in its 30 Connecticut stores entirely by 2020. Already, it curtailed their use in 40 Massachusetts stores where various town ordinances banning their use were in effect.
  • Banning efforts are not limited only to the United States. In July, New Zealand banned their use along with the promise of fining businesses heavily if they continue to use them. The ban encourages the use of reusable bags. In anticipation of the ban, most of New Zealand’s major supermarkets had already voluntarily stopped using all thin plastic bags.

There’s No Reason to Wait

Whether you’re a retailer or a consumer, you don’t have to wait for bans to make the switch to reusable bags. Do it voluntarily. It’s an easy way to help keep the environment a little greener. Every little bit helps.

Belvedere Exclusive’s custom-branded, reusable bags and totes make the perfect promotional item for your store, venue, event, or organization. Adding your logo and colors to our recyclable and reusable eco-friendly bags grabs attention and makes a lasting green impression on your patrons and everyone they encounter.

Get a Quote

Belvedere Exclusive offers recycled polyethylene terephthalate (“PET”) eco custom shopping bags:

  • Made from recycled soda & water bottles
  • 80% post-consumer materials
  • 125+ reuses and they’re washable and PET-1 recyclable
  • Meet all state and local “bag ban” requirements
  • Printing options for your name and logo start at minimum orders of 10 cartons.

We also offer Polypropylene (PP) Nonwoven custom shopping bags:

  • These are the lowest price FOB USA bags in the market!
  • 125+ reuses and they’re washable and PP-5 recyclable
  • Meet all state and local “bag ban” requirements
  • Start at 85c or less per bag, minimum 1 shipping pallet.

We invite you to get a no-strings attached quote on our bags, which are already in use with many high-profile brands around the country.