Cloth Bags Provide Retailers with Free Marketing

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Free marketing opportunities gained from Hong Kong’s introduction of a plastic bag levy.

Free marketing opportunities gained from Hong Kong’s introduction of a plastic bag levy.

In July 2009, Hong Kong started charging HK$0.50 for all plastic bags in retail stores and supermarkets. It is an attempt by the government and green groups to legislate and reduce waste in the territory, in which the average Hong Konger uses three bags a day.

The move has been effective, decreasing plastic bag significantly throughout the territory. Retail stores have been affected, but many have moved to embrace the change as an opportunity.

Several stores have begun to give out cloth bags instead of plastic bags to place their products in. A few months ago, your correspondent bought a pair of jeans at a local clothing store, and they provided him with a cloth bag with the store’s logo and name on it.

It was a really smart move, because unlike plastic bags which often would become bin liners, cloth bags would be reused time and time again. In other words, the shop receives free marketing whenever I go out and use the bag to put my library books in or to carry my groceries.

In places where a plastic bag levy doesn’t exist yet, it could be both a marketing and CSR opportunity for retail stores, from the common belief that cloth bags will help to reduce waste and slow global warming.

It’s better to get into the action soon before the marketing impact is lost, as I suspect it’s only a matter of time before there are as many cloth bags as there are plastic ones.

Photo Credits
Red bag

Oxfam bag

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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Cloth Bags Provide Retailers with Free Marketing
Cloth Bags Provide Retailers with Free Marketing
Free marketing opportunities gained from Hong Kong’s introduction of a plastic bag levy.
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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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