Why Supermarkets Shouldn’t Give Grocery Bags for Free

Plastic bags and single-use grocery bags are being banned left and right as stores are forced to provide their customers with only reusable or recycled bags. Here is the part most people have trouble coming to terms with; these stores must charge consumers at least 10 cents for every bag. They can charge more, but the amount cannot be less than 10 cents. The question is not about whether supermarkets and other retail business can give shoppers free bags, it is about whether they should do it.

Here are seven reasons why supermarkets shouldn’t give printed grocery bags for free.

– Consider the Cost of Providing the Bags
A good number of customers will usually bring their own bags when shopping, and a considerable percentage will not even need a bag to carry their products out of the supermarket. Charging customers for grocery bags, therefore, is necessary to finance the cost of providing these bags.

– Decreasing plastic bag usage
The world is going green. There is a lot of pollution associated with plastic bags, and since they take 1,000 years to decompose, people need to be encouraged to stop using them and buy reusable bags instead.

– Customers don’t always need grocery bags
People don’t realize the amount of bags they use mainly because they have been free all along. Even when buying a gallon of milk, it is customary to ask for a bag instead of just carrying it out of the store, but with charges, people will be more responsible when using grocery bags. Double-bagging one’s shopping, when it is really not necessary, will surely stop.

– Raising money for a good cause
The money raised from selling grocery bags has no regulations attached to it. It belongs to the supermarket owners who are encouraged to donate it to a good cause, but ultimately, it is up to them to do with the money as they please. A good number of supermarket owners, however, admit to giving the funds to charitable causes.

– To prevent hiked taxes
Yes, this can lead back to your tax deductions. The process is simple; free bags result in more waste, meaning that there will be higher clean-up costs. The government will eventually be forced to increase taxes just so plastic bags can be cleaned from the streets.

– Pushing people to change
Necessity is the mother of invention. If you can’t pay for something, then you will have no choice but to find a way around it. Supermarkets should charge for bags because this will push people to find green alternatives for transporting their products.

– The rest of the world is doing it
This has to be the oldest reason in the book, but if it helps get the point across, then you might as well consider it. Hong Kong, China, Africa, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Europe…the list is endless. These places have introduced charges on their grocery bags, and in doing so, have been able to make the world just a little greener.

Supermarkets that don’t charge for their grocery bags are probably still giving away single-use plastic bags to their customers, and in doing this, they are not only breaking the law, but they are also contributing to a bigger problem that will cost them much more in the future.