IKEA UK Will Charge For Plastic Bags
We've just read that "IKEA is to become the UK's first major retailer to regularly charge customers for plastic bags,..." Add this news to the overall retail store green trend list: selling organic food and clothing, fashionable green interior designs, solar panels on roofs, buying carbon credits, installing wind mills in parking lots, and, now charging for disposable plastic bags. According to reports, "The Swedish firm will charge shoppers 5p for every bag with immediate effect, rising to 10p in September". The plan is to simultaneously switch to biodegradable bags and reduce the price of its iconic reusable "Big Blue Bag" (pictured here) to 25p. The anticipated result will be to cut total disposable bag use by 20 million.
"Ikea - which gave away 32 million bags in 2005 - said it had conducted a successful two-year charging trial in Edinburgh, which had led to a 90% drop in consumption....Ikea emphasized that it would not make any money from the move since all the proceeds would be donated to the environmental organisation "Community Forests"." (On cue: this is the part where Tree Huggers get excited.)
Whole Foods, Costco, and other retailers have already gotten with the program of selling logo covered re-useable shopping bags. Although Warren feels that material selection for some designs has been less than perfect and color competition a bit wild in the aisles, hopefully Wal-Mart will bring some focus by introducing a re-useable bag in organic fiber (hint, hint), pointing the arrow toward the right target! Then, we will be treated to some whining by the disposable plastic bag industry, which will cite widespread loss of jobs.