Home » Top 8 Ways Grocers Can Survive Plastic Bag Bans
National Store News

Top 8 Ways Grocers Can Survive Plastic Bag Bans

Pete Grande

by Pete Grande, CEO, Command Packaging

For The Shelby Report

All over the country, plastic shopping bags are being outlawed in grocery stores and other retail outlets. Fees are being imposed on all shoppers who do not bring their own bags. Plastic is no longer an available option at the checkout counter except at stores that carry thicker, certifiable reusable plastic bags.

It’s a steep adjustment period for shoppers when they hit the checkout line, so here are a few ways grocers can survive the switch away from t-shirt-style plastic bags:

1. Have a plan on how to prepare your customer for this change. Post signs and counter toppers that provide your customer with a clear set of choices for their carry-bag options.

2. Know that initially most customers will not be happy. Many of your customers will be confused by this new policy and will want to know why.

3. Brief your staff on how to respond to customers. Create concise scripts so employees will know how to best respond.

4. When asked what is the “best choice” be prepared to answer with confidence: a. Paper or Plastic?  At the cost of 10 cents there are only two choices—one is single-use and one is reusable.

5. Have a strategy to encourage reuse and recycling. Showing your understanding and support for the ordinance will help put your customers at ease.

6. Provide your customers fun strategies to remind them to bring in their bags. Encourage customers to keep bags in their car, by the front door or near their car keys as a good visual reminder to take them with them to your store.

7. Don’t put meat or liquid in reusable woven or sewn bags. The reason this isn’t a good idea is that the pores in these bags hold bacteria. Generally, people don’t wash woven bags, which is why they have been proven to spread the flu and other illnesses.

8. Encourage recycling of bags when they reach the end of their use. This will help create a closed-loop system similar to Europe where as much as 90 percent of all plastic is recycled and is not buried in a landfill, putting the shopper at the center of the solution.

Bag bans are intended to force shoppers to change some of their habits, which puts you and your business in the cross-hairs of frustration. Using these tips will hopefully make life easier for you but especially your customer—by keeping in mind that not all bags are created equal. Being a part of the smarter solution benefits your business in goodwill and loyalty from your customers.

In the feature photo at top is Pete Grande, CEO of Command Packaging and Encore Recycling, a new venture in Salinas, Calif., that will remove 100 million pounds of agricultural plastic from landfills annually to create bag-ban compliant plastic bags.


Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap