Plastic Shopping BagsPosted: April 17, 2011
Working in a retail setting has given me my most recent idea: Plastic Shopping Bags- I’m gunning for you!
Now that I got that out of my system, it occurred to me that when working at a cash register I usually ask people who are purchasing few items if they’d like a bag in addition to the questions cashiers are required to ask such as ‘Will you be putting that on your DIY Supercenter Credit Card?’ (which is a question I hate-as a customer I don’t think it’s any of the cashier’s business how I pay, as long as it’s an accepted form of payment and not Monopoly dollars) or ‘Did you find everything ok?’ (which I’m also not especially fond of because if they say no and ask me where something is I usually have no idea and want to say ‘They don’t let me leave this general vicinity…’)
Anyway, I started thinking to myself, if they can require me to ask the questions above, why not add one more question to this list- ‘Would you like me to put this in a bag?’ It would help the environment and maybe even encourage people to recycle their bags by either buying the reusable ones, or even reusing their old plastic bags. It also might serve as a reminder to forgetful people to bring their reusable bag with next time.
I’ve conducted a few experiments on customers purchasing one or two items. When I automatically put their items in a bag, 9 times out of 10 they would take the bag and say nothing. When I asked similar patrons if they wanted a bag for their one or two items 9 times out of 10 they said no, which saved bags from ending up in landfills and ultimately saved the company a teeny tiny amount of money. So even if the DIY Supercenter doesn’t care about saving the environment they may be interested in the cost savings.
I’m making up figures here, but let’s say they would use 20% less plastic bags each year across 3,000 stores (approx), that could potentially be a chunk of change… My next step, I just need to figure out how much plastic bags cost. I can’t imagine they are expensive, but in this economy what business isn’t interested in cutting costs?
Now, to prod management to see if anyone at DIY Supercenter would be interested in this idea (but that’s a whole different post for the future…)