Yesterday, Los Angeles became the first major US city to ban plastic shopping bags being given out at supermarket checkouts. HOORAY for LA! The historic ban will go into effect over the next 16 months as plastic bags are phased out. What’s more is, there is a 10-cent charge for paper bags in place as well, a “dis-incentive” to get people to really wake up and start bringing their own bags to the market.
Plastic bags affect our oceans, our forests, everything. They choke marine life, they litter the landscape, they sit in landfills and they don’t biodegrade. In California alone, 12 billion plastic bags a year are consumed and less than 5% are recycled. Gross.
If you recall, we stopped using plastic bags in our stores this past Earth Day. I asked Kelly, our illustrious Customer Service Leader, how our customers reacted – or did they react? “Most people didn’t mind, some were happy,” she says. “There were a few who seemed…not upset, but not happy. But they understood and got over it. Most of them liked them because they used them for other things.” All in all, we felt that our customers, the people who are part of our Culture, they would not only get it but embrace it, which they did. Our daily count of people bringing in their own bags has significantly jumped since.
There are many US cities and communities who have already put their own ban in place, but none as sprawling and high-profile as LA. We really hope Los Angeles’ historic decision (Californians always seem to be making those, don’t they?) sets a precedent and spreads like a viral YouTube video – because it’s time to end this plastic bag nonsense.
For our big Customer Appreciation Day on Sunday, June 3rd, we’re giving away our limited edition “Go Green with Dean’s” reusable bags, which we hope you like and use. Every bit counts, right? Right!