Did you know that each year, Australians use more than six billion plastic bags? Well, things are about to change. Two major retail chains recently made waves (mid-July) by announcing that they will ban plastic bags in their stores. Five Australian states had already banned these products. Nonetheless, Woolworths and Coles’ new commitment means that New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia will catch up to speed by June of 2018. This is huge news not only for the environment, but also for businesses in Australia. It’s becoming apparent that reusable bags are now a way of life.
Plastic is Toxic for the Environment
The ban on plastic bags has become a global phenomenon, and with good reason. Plastic is a toxic, non-biodegradable material that has caused the earth major damage. Do Something! is an Australian campaign that fights for social and environmental justice. Its founder, John Dee, called this move “the first big step by a major Australian retailer,” adding that Aldi set the bar when it opened in 2001 by not giving away plastic bags in the first place. While seemingly harmless and convenient, Dee stated that “lightweight plastic bags often end up polluting waterways and the ocean, killing and maiming marine animals.”
Why Companies Like Woolworths are Banning Plastic Bags
In response to the retail giant’s major announcement, Woolworth’s Chief Executive Brad Banducci remarked: “Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously.” However, the resolve to ban plastic bags in all of their stores, including Big W, Dan Murphy’s, and BWS liquor stores, is not just conservational. Banducci also stated that, each year, their stores give away more than 3.2 billion plastic bags. This translates to a hefty expenditure for convenience. When the ban is set in place next year, reusable bags will be available for purchase, costing anywhere from 15 cents to 2 dollars.
The Importance of Sustainability in Business
With this environmental movement set in place, what does this mean for the business world? As a Marketing Coordinator, it’s more important than ever to take note of this shift of consciousness. It’s clear that consumers are now demanding sustainable choices, and your company should be prepared to deliver. Reusable bags are now a way of life, and they’re also a brilliant way to reach your demographic. When it comes to promotional products, people are more likely to keep the merchandise if it’s useful. Now that plastic bags are being banned, there is going to be an even higher need for eco-friendly shopping bags. In addition, promotional bags have an incredibly low CPI (cost per impression) and are an effective form of advertisement.
Reusable Bags as Promotional Merchandise
If you haven’t yet implemented promotional merchandise into your marketing strategies, now is the time to start. Promotional products can increase the effectiveness of your campaign by 44%, and customer acquisition by 31%. In the United States, where the first ban on plastic bags began in 2007, 50% of consumers own and consistently use promotional bags. As such, reusable, promotional bags generate more impressions than any other promotional product in the U.S. With the ban on plastic bags being embraced here in Australia, this is the prime opportunity to use promotional bags as part of your marketing campaign. Doing so will show your clientele not only that you care about the environment, but also that you are paying attention to their needs as consumers.
If you need inspiration for reusable bags, take a look at our totes here. After all, reusable bags are now a way of life, and plastic bags are a thing of the past. Make sure your company reflects the sign of the times.
Do you have questions, or need help transitioning to sustainable promotional products? Let us know in the comments below!