Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Target's Free Market Approach to Plastic Bag Use

Last night, I went shopping briefly at the Target on Sepulveda Blvd. next to the Ralphs in the Del Amo Fashion Center.

The store is neat place where you can get a lot of goods at one time.

Usually, I walk through as part of a daily walk when I want to exercise.

They also opened a section of "One Dollar" items, including candies. Sometimes, I buy one before I walk and go on the next part of my walk (which often takes me through what's left of the Del Amo Fashion Center.

When I approached the counter to purchase my candy, the lady asked me if I needed a plastic bag.

I told her know, without considering that I would need the bag to through the trash away from the candy I would be eating.

She then told me: "That will save you five cents".

The cashier then explained to me every time a customer decides not purchase a bag, or they bring their own bags, they save money.

I was really impressed with that idea. "That is brilliant with a capital B!" I told her.

Once again, the  marketplace does a better job presenting and promoting real reforms, whether dealing with trash, pollution, or protecting the environment.

While government regulations want to ban everything, businesses in the business of actually turning a profit will look for the best means to increase business, to encourage customers to keep coming back.

Instead of banning plastic bags and charging people an extra tax or fee to have a brown bag, this store decided to give customers an incentive if they brought their own bags or declined to take one in the first place.
File:Target logo.svg

Instead of one dollar, I paid $.95 cents. Not much of a savings for one piece of candy, perhaps, but the idea was worth so much more in itself. Imagine the savings for this company when customers with large orders decline bags, and thus allow for great savings.

I contacted one of the floor supervisors at the store, and she explained to me that customers can save five cents for every bag that they bring. Most stores have enacted this policy, even though some no longer use bags because those municipalities ban them already.

Most people do not realize this, but grocery and retail stores do have to eat the cost of using plastic bags. Grocery stores will train their employees to avoid using more bags than necessary because of the long-term costs to the company as well as the potential harm to the environment.

Until researchers and inventors develop a biodegradable plastic bag, most activists are convinced that the best way to diminish plastic bag litter is to ban them entire.

Target is on target with a better proposal: offer customers an incentive not to use their plastic bags, but to bring their own.

Once again, the free market provides better means for solving problems than government rules and regulations ever could.

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