local retailers report less plastic bag usage
Local retailers are reporting significant improvements in recycling and reduced use of plastic bags after a year long city led campaign to curtail plastic bag usage and encourage the use of recyclable bags.
During the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” initiative, customers of retailers including HEB, Randall’s, Wal Mart, Walgreen’s and Target recycled over 20 percent more bags at stores during the first half of 2008 than they did at the same time in 2006, Pandora Bracelet according to data from those retaile Pandora Bracelet rs. The stores reported that they provided 40 percent fewer plastic bags to their customers during the first half of 2008 than during the same period in 2006. Stores sold 443,227 reusabl Pandora Bracelet e bags to customers more than one bag for every two Austin residents, according to the city.
“We are very encouraged by these initial results of the [initiative], coming as they have through the committed and cooperative efforts of retailers, Keep Austin Beautiful and the city of Austin,” says Ronnie Volkening, President and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association. “These results are very encouraging and a positive initial step. Our ongoing goal is to con Pandora Bracelet tinue this collaborative effort to increase retailer participation, enhance consumer awareness and involvement and continue our dialogue with the city to develop a sustainable, market based program that diverts plastic bags and plastic film from our city landfills.”
Brian Block, executive director of Keep Austin Beautiful, also credited its “Austin’s Got a Brand New Bag” awareness campaign with the success of the overall initiative.
“The response to the campaign thus far has been fantastic; it shows how committed Austinites are to reducing waste and making positive environmental choices,” he says.
Austin City Member Lee Leffingwell, who spearheaded the initiative, says he calls on all local stores to become partners in the program to ensure its continued success. In the past he has said that as long as the program is successful the city would not resort to mandatory curtailments in plastic bag usage.