Back in November, Los Angeles County passed a law banning the distribution of plastic bags in retail stores. As of July 1, 2011, 67 supermarkets and pharmacies stopped providing plastic bags. All stores in the unincorporated areas of L.A. will adopt this policy by January 2012. Now customers have two options: purchase paper bags at 10 cents per bag, or start bringing their own reusable bags. Environmentalists consider it a huge win, while some economists predict the end of small business in L.A. Regardless of how you feel about the ban, one thing is certain: brands can use this to make a killing in brand impressions.
With over 1.1 million people affected by the ban, this makes 1.1 million people collecting reusable bags and 1.1 million people who will potentially see your brand. Customized bags are not only necessary for L.A. residents, but they are a very affordable and popular promotion. And with hundreds of choices and thousands of ways to customize, your bag doesn’t have to be just another brand in the crowd.
But the ban isn’t just in L.A. County. Many cities across the United States have either banned or taxed plastic bags, and many more are considering laws to do so. The market for reusable bags is expanding by the month and becoming “must haves” for many families across the US.
Need any more convincing? Let’s talk money. Per dollar, promotional bags reap one thousand brand impressions, beating out all other forms of promotion. So if you sink a thousand dollars (a reasonable sum compared to the price of a magazine or TV ad) into bags that will equal one million brand impressions. Let me say that again: one million brand impressions. So whether you plan to sell them in your business or hand them out at events, you can be sure that your brand is going to go places.
This ban comes at a time when consumers are once again opting for eco-friendly products. The high price of eco-friendly products during the recession stalled the popularity, but as the economy has started to recover and manufacturers have cut costs, eco-friendly is once again an option! Many popular eco-friendly promotional items like pens are now comparable in price to their non-eco counterparts, and clients will be impressed that you’ve taken a step towards saving the planet.
Don’t delay, because now is the time to start expanding your brand in current and future eco-conscious cities. Even the European Union is considering a blanket ban of plastic bags, so this might even be the time to consider an international promotion! Whatever you plan to do, don’t let this branding opportunity slip by!