Plastic vs. Reusable Bags

My proposal for the Green Grant would be to give each first-year a reusable grocery bag. The overall goal of this change would be to reduce the number of disposable plastic bags that are used on campus. This reusable bag would be given to first-year students at orientation, much like the reusable water bottles that were given to my class. These bags’ purpose would be for food and bookstore items. Any students buying snacks, getting upper to go or grabbing a salad from O3, can use the reusable grocery bag. Also, I believe that incentivizing this usage by offering a 3% discount on all bookstore food purchases for students who bring the reusable bag would help encourage the success of the program. Students would save declining, and the planet in the process. If the average size of the new freshman class is about 510 students (rough estimate), then it would cost Union about $0.95 per bag, with a total cost of $484.50. Now, one order of the biodegradable plastic bags that Union currently uses in the bookstore (1000 bags per order), costs $90.29. If the bookstore saw just a 10% decrease in demand for plastic bags per term, that would mean a 30% decrease per academic year; which is significant. Then the college can order fewer plastic bags (ergo spend less money on plastic bags each term), and reduce our waste in a cost-efficient way. The Green Fee Grant is a perfect way to fund this effort and can totally be reasonably implemented next fall.

4 thoughts on “Plastic vs. Reusable Bags

  1. This is a really interesting idea, and I think it would be great to offer a discount on food purchases with a reusable bag. My two concerns are that many people make most purchases in the bookstore that are small and don’t need a bag of any kind. Second, I am not sure that a 3% discount is enough to incentivize students to carry a reusable bag around for whenever they buy food.

  2. This is a very good idea and a very informative post. In other countries such as England, they make you pay extra for plastic bags and it is very frowned upon to not bring your own reusable bags. This led me to remember to bring my reusable bag to the grocery store and I think the price reduction will incentivize students to reuse bags to not only save money but help the environment.

  3. This is a great idea sit tackles one of our biggest recycling problems which is the over use of plastics bags on our campus. The data presented shows that if there is a change tom be made, it would have benefiting effects for the rest of the campus as we would create a new form of saving resources.

  4. This is SO smart. I can’t imagine how many reamer bags are given to students who buy items at the book store a DAY. I alone can sometimes gather two or three bags depending on how many time I visit the bookstore or how many items I am buying. Super smart idea and I like it a lot. It’s not even like the bags are paper, they’re plastic which detrimentally impacts the environment especially when people throw them away in the garbage rather than recycling them.

Leave a Reply