The Future’s in the Bag

Get a Bag Habit

Get a Bag Habit

Or, to be more precise, it’s out of the bag. Last week saw the launch of the government’s Get a Bag Habit scheme, an attempt to get all of us thinking greener when it comes to that scourge of the city and the countryside, the ubiquitous plastic carrier bag.

There’s more information available from the BA/PA Environmental Action Group website green4books and the BA are encouraging all members to get involved by registering at and using their retailer toolkit.

At LST we’ve adopted a policy of charging 5p for carrier bags, as well as having our own LST-branded cotton carriers available to buy. Whilst it’s only a nominal charge, it’s having the desired effect of making people stop and think about whether they really need a bag.

What’s your policy and how is it going down with your customers? What suggestions would you offer to other booksellers wanting to reduce their carbon footprint? And given the plethora of books that have now been published on environmental issues, which would you recommend? One of my personal favourites is Church House Publishing’s excellent little How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Christian? — well worth keeping in stock.

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2 thoughts on “The Future’s in the Bag

  1. Hello,

    For a nearly a year now we have had a policy where we only use Brown Paper Bags where we can, and in terms of carriers we pay the extra to stock only 100% Degradable Carriers.

    We stock fabric ‘pocket’ bags (ie they fold to fit the pocket) at the till point where they are visable – unfortunately not branded but quite popular.

    We also make a charge – though only 2p – if they want a carrier when the paperbag would do (unless it’s raining then we wave the charge or offer a carrier instead of paper!)and always if we can see they already have half empty carriers with them unless they can give a good reason for not filling them!
    what’s really amazing is how quickly people can manage without a bag they say they really need when a charge goes with it!

    The 2p goes to our nominated Charity – this year that’s Alder Hay Children’s Hospital, Imagine Appeal.
    There are signs up telling them of our policy and the reasons why.

    We always ask the customer before putting anything in the bag if they need a bag – and it is amazing how many say NO.
    What is interesting though is how many when you ask nod their head and then go, ‘ohh wait a minute I have one with me’ and pull one out of their handbag or pocket, but without the prompt of being asked would have taken another bag – it is just still not a natural habit for many, although they are carrying them.

    On the whole in the last year we have had a favourable response, there were initially a few that were resistant at first but they now accept it as standard – and it is great when some of them come in toting their own bags as standard.

  2. We too have our own ‘bag for life’ that we sell – or give free to customers spending over £30. It also great advertising – we never bothered getting our own carrier bags done, but the reusable ones have been brilliant. Some have even gone to the States (which sounds glamourous but does defeat the point of using them for advertising!)

    I’m amazed how often “would you like a bag for that” is being met with a “No” now, not a “Yes”. Attitudes are definitely changing in Newbury.

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