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HOW SUPERMARKETS ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO REDUCE WASTE
AND TO HELP PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT

V. Ryan 2011

 

 
 
PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS - ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
 
Plastic carrier bags cause damage to the environment in a number of ways. They take an estimated thousand years to decay and in that time they can pollute the surrounding soil. When discarded, plastics blow around in the wind and are an unpleasant sight. Wildlife can be caught up and tangled in the remains of carrier bags and this is usually fatal.
Plastic bags are manufactured from polyethylene, which is derived from oil. Oil is a nonrenewable fossil fuel and it is wasteful to produce simple plastic bags from this valuable resource, especially when alternatives are available.
 
 
 
HOW SUPERMARKETS ARE ENCOURAGING CUSTOMERS
TO REDUCE THEIR USE OF CARRIER BAGS
 
 
Most supermarkets now have ‘bag free’ checkouts. Customers are not offered a plastic carrier bag at the till. In this way customers are not encouraged to use a plastic carrier bag, which means that fewer plastic bags end up being discarded as waste.

Many supermarkets, offer a ‘bag for life’ or reusable bags made from sustainable materials such as cotton. Some supermarkets ask customers if they would like to purchase a stronger bag, rather than a plastic bag. These are often made from recycled materials.

In some countries the law has been changed so that supermarkets must charge a 'minimum fee' for plastic carrier bags. This encourages customers to bring their own bag, rather than receive a higher bill at the till.

Supermarkets that have customer loyalty cards, usually offer ‘green points’ to customers using their own bags. Green Points are placed on the customers loyalty card and converts to money. Every time a customer reuses a plastic bag, the points build up.

By doing all this, supermarkets encourage customers to consider environment issues. They also help to make customers aware that they are can reduce waste and at the same time help protect the environment. 
 
 
 
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