If you’re shopping for a promotional bag, you’re probably looking for a shopping tote that helps your customer, advertises your small business, and minimizes your environmental impact. Welcome to International Plastic Bag Free Day! This special day will help you reduce plastic pollution and inspire you to follow happy customers and business success.
What is International Plastic Bag Free Day?
International Plastic Bag Free Day, celebrated every year on July 3, encourages people around the world to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags. The goal of the day is to reduce plastic contamination by eliminating the thin, filmy plastic bags commonly used in retail and grocery stores. International Plastic Bag Free Day encourages us to see that a world is possible without the use of so much plastic.
Zero West Europe established International Plastic Bag Free Day in 2009 and it has become part of the break from the plastic movement. By 2020, the movement had grown to about 6,500 individuals and more than 2,400 organizations. This movement seeks solution to the plastic pollution crisis. Its goal is to make the planet safer for humans, the environment and wildlife.
What is a single use plastic bag?
A single-use plastic bag is primarily made from fossil fuel-based chemicals (petrochemicals) and is discarded immediately after use – sometimes, within minutes. Thin plastic (called polythene) used in single-use plastic bags was accidentally discovered in England in 1933. Disposable plastic bags began to replace cloth and thick plastic bags in Europe in 1965, and by 1979 began to spread to the United States and other countries. By 1989, single-use plastic bags had almost completely replaced paper bags worldwide.
Why is it important for the planet to reduce the use of plastic bags?
When it comes to single-use plastic bags and environmental impact, numbers say it’s best:
- It takes 100 to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to be damaged in a landfill.1,2 A bunch of that generation inherited our garbage!
- Plastic bags usually do not break down completely but are photo-degraded, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and pollute the environment.
- About 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year1 (Up to five trillion is produced 2) A single-use plastic bag is used once (for about 25 minutes) and then disposed of, where its actual lifespan begins (see first bullet), filling landfills, contaminating land, polluting air, and marine life 1, Poisoned up to 00. Years
- Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil to produce. The oil needed to make 14 single-use plastic bags is equivalent to the gas needed to drive a mile.1
- About 87% of plastic bags are never recycled.1
- By 2050, the world’s oceans may have more plastic than fish measured by weight.3
- Plastics commonly used in single-use plastic bags may contain chemical additives such as endocrine disruptors, which are associated with negative health effects, including cancer, birth defects, and suppression of human and wildlife immunity.
Single-use plastic bags have detrimental effects on the environment, wildlife and human health. Finding alternatives makes good sense!
Plastic Bags: Where’s the Good News?
There is so much awareness locally, nationally and globally that what we can and should do is being taken left and right. Momentum is created because of the production of single use plastic bags, our common love and need for clean air, clean water and healthy plants, animals and people. Some progress information:
- In 2014, California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags.
- By 2018, 311 local bag ordinances have been passed against single-use carryout bags in 24 states, including Hawaii.
- As of 2018, 127 countries have enacted some kind of legislation to regulate single-use plastic bags.
- Americans use an average of 365 plastic bags each year. This is not good news, however This Hall: Danes use an average of four plastic bags each year. It can be and is being; Let’s thank the Dennis and follow their lead!
- By 2018, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) finds that 127 of the 192 countries under review have enacted some form of national law to address the problem of plastic bags.4
- 2020 marks the beginning of the era of single-use plastic reduction, with China committed to strengthening national plastic pollution control.
The best news: No one is in the dark! When it comes to plastic pollution, it’s clear that the proverbial “emperor” at least doesn’t dress, or wears less. The decline of single-use plastics is one of many cultural changes toward global, responsible living. Just as the plastic bag crash has evolved over the decades, so too does the repair take time. Repairs are underway and progress is being made, one person at a time and one transaction at a time.
How can my small business make an impact?
Every person and every customer has the opportunity to move the needle! You can help:
- Reusable bag offer
- Removing single-use bags
- Promote International Plastic Bag Free Day by urging your customers to bring their own bags or not if possible.
Feels good to be part of the solution! Your customers will appreciate how you pitch in their favor and say “no thanks” to plastic contamination.
What are the branding benefits of reusable bags?
Putting your name in a reusable bag is a great way to lend a hand to shoppers and guests, for a reason that makes every life better. Branding is a great way to connect with customers and make a reusable bag a good vehicle for doing so. When you customize a reusable bag or tote, you see the long-term benefits in two ways: 1. The impact of your ad on a reusable bag is long lasting and 2. Your brand engages with your customer on an emotionally relevant topic.
What are the best recyclable bags for branding?
Encourage customers to be part of the plastic pollution solution by offering reusable bags instead of single-use plastic. With your name up front, you get visibility whenever they use it and you both feel confident about your carbon footprint. Popular options are designed for the long haul, not the landfill:
Budget Shopper Tote with Gray Trim: Note the bright color options and gray trim for eye-catching visibility; Gusseted bottom for increased capacity; And you can feel good about the water-resistant, recyclable, reusable material.
Large Wave Patterned Shopping Bag: Featuring a trendy pattern and wide gasket for generous packing, this bag includes more powerful handles and a plastic bottom insert to keep the contents organized.
Medium Galina Cotton Tote Bag: Long, sturdy handles allow to be carried by hand or shoulder. Choose the color of your handle to match or contrast with your personalized logo and message.
Foldable Shopper Tote: This foldway tote has double handles and folds at the corners, held smartly with a draw string closure.
Eco-Friendly Craft Paper Gail Tote Bag: This bag combines the natural look of strong kraft paper with modern materials to create a trendy tote at the right time for today’s customer.
Cody Tote Bag with Ripstop Trim: This polyester tote double handles make for easy loading while the attached pouch creates convenient storage.
Contrast Shade Tote: This tote has a solid body color with contrast trim which makes this bag attractive and fashion-forward.
Medium Piper Polyester Tote Bag: This sturdy, fashionable tote handle is reinforced and is perfect for grocery stores, conferences, poolside and picnics.
Recycled Cotton Emma Grocer Tote: Can Grocery Shopping Be More Stylish? This trendy tote contains recycled cotton which is mixed with recycled polyester, collected from garment cutting waste.
Two-Tone Insulated Grocery Tote: This insulated bag has an open front pocket, reinforced handles, and a thermal food safe aluminum foil liner.
Plastic bags are a big issue
Everyone plays a small role in progress and that is the key. We can all try to move the ball forward little by little. Together, we will cross the finish line, breathe deeply (fresh air!), Live long, and say “thank you” to this miracle called Mother Earth.