retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Connecticut Post reports that the town of Fairfield, Connecticut, is considering an ordinance that would ban the handing out of disposable plastic bags by retailers, a move that advocates say would help eliminate waste and litter. The ordinance is said to be similar to one already enacted in adjacent Westport, Connecticut, which passed its ban last year.
KC's View:
My position on this is clear – I think it would be better for the planet, and even better for retailers (who could eliminate disposable bag expenses from their balance sheets), if we could get consumers across the board to adopt reusable bags, to keep them in the trunks of their cars, and to use them with enthusiasm.

I think some of this actually is happening. More and more, I see other people using canvas bags when I go to the store. (I’m religious about it. And, by the way, my unscientific research suggests that non-disposable bag usage goes up when retailers post signs in their parking lots reminding people not to leave them in their cars. Hint, hint, hint…)

I do think the town-by-town effort is a little inefficient and confusing. But maybe that’s the only way to get it done.

Now, I realize a lot of this is generational. I was talking last week to a senior industry executive who has a young child who is passionate about the use of canvas bags, while the executive’s spouse is a little skeptical about the whole movement. I get it. I realize that this transition won’t happen overnight, and that the industry has to serve both customers.

But it is more ethical, more environmentally responsible, to nudge the movement along, to educate even the skeptical consumers, and to explain the process and the rationale.