Associated Content - 1.12.10
"Wal-Mart charging for plastic bags is now reality for shoppers in Northern California's Folsom, Ukiah and Citrus Heights. Wal-Mart grocery bags may soon cost a few pennies in other areas as well. Are Californians ready? What appears like a lofty goal - the overall waste reduction of 33% by 2013 - may well be accomplished one bag at a time. With Wal-Mart charging for plastic bags, the retailer implements the second phase of its "bring your own bag" movement that started back in October. As reported by the Sacramento Bee, Wal-Mart strongly encouraged consumers to bring their own bags when buying. At this point, encouragement gives way to cash incentives. Wal-Mart charges for bags at the rate of 15 cents; over-sized bags retail for 50 cents. The jury is still out whether Wal-Mart charging for bags will be a project that also finds its way into the remaining 52 stores..."
Read more here.
Our Take: Financial incentives to encourage people to carry reusable bags are smart. Like successful fee models, such as Ireland's Plastax, incentives have the potential to reduce the consumption of use-and-toss shopping bags dramatically.