Do you think people will use alternatives to plastic bags if they were more fashionable?

Maria Leal
3 replies
People tend to follow trend, like customized tote bags , or vegan bags, and it could be a way for more people to stop using plastic bags. Thank for your thoughts

Replies

Head of Content @ Reply.io
Most people I know have already switched to reusable bags - some even go grocery shopping with reusable containers for cereals, berries, or anything that is sold loose (luckily, there's plenty of such options in Ukraine - even in supermarkets).
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Yes, Definitely, there is already a such tendency
Techie + Serial Entrepreneur
I've created a new sustainable platform and it really depends on knowing your target market and what your aims and values are. There are a few things you need to consider when marketing this to any group of people It's not about the fashion per se, it's about the function. The vast majority of existing plastic bag users are only using them to put things in to. Nothing tends to beat the convenience of plastics bags which are already there next to the checkout in a supermarket. Even [plastic] bags for life most people don't reuse. For example, about 35% of people reused plastic bags for life before there was a tax imposed on them here in the UK. That figure rose to nearly 70% after that. Mostly from people who don't have enough bags-for-life when they get to the checkout and have to settle for a plastic one, if they don't buy another. Tote bags are not zero carbon, because of the fact they require cleaning every so often to remain safe. If you can get your energy from renewable sources and detergent made from eco-friendly materials, then this is a good option, but equally, if you can't, then all that's happening is a transference of the climate cost of plastics, which are environmentally harmful, into the climate cost of cleaning, which can be just another environmentally harmful thing. It takes 4kg of oil to create 1kg of plastics, plus 0.003 kWh of energy to make each plastic bag. A tote takes 0.03 kWh of energy to make and 0.2kWh to wash a tote bag in a washing machine at 40 degrees Celsius for 39 minutes. Meaning the climate cost of tote bags only keep running away from plastics. There are microbeads in some detergents that are worse than anything for marine life and indeed, are now inside the human food chain because they have been ingested by animals which humans then eat (e.g fish). What this means is, over time, tote bags are better than consuming oil to make plastic bags, but keep getting worse for the climate in detergents and energy unless those factors are also considered as part of the cleaning regimes [because they don't exist for plastic bags]. If not, it's possible for totes to become much more harmful to the climate than plastics bags are. Especially if people reuse plastic bags or municipalities recycle them. This sort of systemic thinking MUST be conducted if you are going to be a differentiator and really care about sustainability. Because without it, it causes harm to land and marine life in the form of ocean plastics and deforestation Not all tote bags are vegan friendly. Some use leather, others use wool. So positioning such products needs to align to people's ethics. Get it wrong, and you'll never ever recover, even if you get it right the second time. There is definitely a generational divide. Younger people very definitely would use them, but in the UK, IME it's easier to sell these to women than men in the range of 18 to 35. Though this will only increase. So your market trajectory means it'll only increase over time, so you're in a good place.