Promotional Tote Bags Help Retailers Go Green

February 28, 2009 by  Filed under: Advertising 

North Americans are becoming increasingly conscious of their individual carbon footprints. Many are taking steps to reduce their own negative impact on the environment. From conserving water to recycling paper and plastics, earth lovers are doing their respective parts to keep the planet green.


Many retailers have responded in kind, recognizing that businesses can use their influence to help inspire people to care for the earth. One method that numerous retailers have adopted is creating “green” promotional tote bags. Retailers are encouraging customers to use and reuse these shopping bags instead of filling up landfills with plastic bags.


Creating customized promotional tote bags accomplishes two objectives:


1) Reduces the need for plastic shopping bags: Plastic shopping bags have become a scourge in many of North America’s landfills, prompting some communities and municipalities to ban them from landfills altogether. They take up space, albeit a small space. The major problem lies, though, within their inability to break down. Many plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled. When they are sent to the landfill, they add to methane gas emissions, a major contributor to global warming. Retail establishments (grocery stores, clothing and goods retailers, etc.) are the world’s leading purveyors of plastic shopping bags. By offering reusable alternatives to plastic shopping bags, retailers are helping to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags being sent to landfills, perhaps by as much as fifty percent.


2) Creates an economical vehicle for advertising and promotion: Promotional items like tote bags are a very inexpensive way to advertise a business, especially when compared to other methods of advertising (billboards, radio/television ads, newspaper ads, etc.) Many promotional tote bags can be purchased and screened with a business logo for less than two dollars per bag. Retailers can then choose to offer these shopping bags for sale to customers at a small fee, or use them as a means for raising funds for a cause or charity. Everyone benefits: the customer, the retailer, and the charity in the case of a fundraiser.


A number of excellent, earth-friendly options are available when it comes to promotional tote bags. Some of these include:


* Canvas: Canvas is one of the most versatile materials on earth. It’s made from cotton, and the method that is used for weaving canvas results in a fabric that has a very high strength-to-weight ratio. Canvas is a particularly wise choice for grocery bags. A canvas bag is tough enough to be filled to the brim with groceries without breaking or tearing. It’s easy care too: canvas promotional tote bags are machine washable.


* Nylon: Nylon is a synthetic fiber that is flexible as well as strong. Nylon holds dye well, which may be an important consideration if you plan to have your business logo screened onto your promotional tote bag. Like canvas, nylon also has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. It’s highly elastic, making it perfect for bags meant to carry bulky items like books. Once the bag is emptied, it will spring back easily to its original shape.


* Cotton: This natural fiber is one of the least expensive materials to make promotional tote bags from. This makes cotton shopping bags affordable even for the small retailer. Cotton is easy-care and machine-washable. Cotton shopping bags are perfect for lighter-weight items like produce or clothing.


Many retailers both large and small estimate that by providing reusable shopping bags as alternatives to plastic for their customers they’ve kept hundreds and even thousands of plastic bags out of local landfills. These retailers are leading the way in the industry and proving that businesses can set a public example of caring for the environment without jeopardizing profits. 

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