Boots and H&M have recently pledged to start introducing more paper bags into their businesses, as an alternative to the plastic versions they have been using. Whilst many of us are already making the switch to more reusable bag options such as paper or cotton, there is more that can be done by small businesses in our towns and cities to help customers ditch the plastic.
Whilst some businesses think that banning the use of plastic is the way forward, or perhaps refusing to offer any sort of bag, there are some more favourable ways that independent retailers can be eco-friendlier in their bags and packaging offerings.
Offering paper and eco alternatives to plastic bags
The first, and perhaps most obvious step, is to provide customers in need of a bag with a paper bag or a plant-based material bag such as cotton or jute.
Whilst there are concerns over the impact that paper bags have on the environment due to deforestation, if you get your bags from a sustainable supplier then they are much less harmful than plastic bags that take years and years to break down. Paper bags can be easily composted or used for arts and crafts at home.
Offering cotton or paper bags to customers doesn’t have to cost you a huge amount of money. If you go to an eco bags retailer, they will be able to supply you with bags in bulk which will bring the price down considerably. Most companies will also be able to customise your bags for you, giving you a whole option of styles and colours to choose from, with the added extra of having your chosen design or logo on your bags. This means your customers will be doing your marketing for you!
As well as offering eco-friendly bags, small businesses should look at investing in other packaging that is easily recyclable.
Many gift shops use boxes or added extras such as tissue paper when wrapping up their products to hand over to customers. It’s now super easy to find ribbon, tissue paper, and boxes that have been made from recycled materials or are recyclable themselves.
There really are no excuses for businesses to continue using plastic packaging, and by following in the steps of chain stores, we can make a difference to consumer habits and encourage them to reuse their own bags or make the switch to the alternatives being offered.
I set this blog up a couple of years ago now as a way to share my experience that I’ve gained through my school education and my real life education. It sounds geeky, but the economy is something that I’m really passionate about and it’s something that I am actually pretty talented in, so it’s great for me to share these experiences with those that may be struggling a little bit with finance and figuring out how to navigate the economy.