carrier bag levy
September 20, 2016

How to use the carrier bag levy to your advantage

Whilst the introduction of the carrier bag levy was well received with regards to the positive impact it can have on our environment, it’s clear that for the retailers themselves, it’s caused them a lot more hassle.

Not only do single use carrier bags need to continue to be produced, but the customer has to be charged for them, and there’s additional admin to do when it comes to reporting back to the government on the number of bags that have been sold.

We all know the 5p charge is succeeding in reducing carrier bag sales and will inevitably have numerous benefits to the environment, but how can retailers use the charge to their advantage?

Selling reusable ‘bags for life’

We’ve talked recently on our blog about the boom in sales of bags for life, and that’s because retailers are keen to offer an alternative for customers that they can use again and again, but that is still a source of revenue for them.

Although customers would be loath to pay more than 5p for a standard single use carrier bag, most are happy to pay up to 10p or even more for a better quality, more reusable bag.

This gives retailers a great opportunity, and it’s not just limited to the big boys either. If your business requires you to charge your customers 5p for a standard bag, investing in your own range of reusable bags not only gives your customers a better (and more environmentally friendly) option, but gives you the chance to earn a bit more money.

And, by selling more reusable and longer lasting bags to your customers, you’re getting a bigger return on your investment. This is because the customer will use your bag multiple times, exposing your brand to exponentially more people, and helping it to stick in the customer’s mind too.

The big supermarkets may seem like they have a monopoly on selling bags for life, but giving valued customers a piece of your brand that they can use over and over is a great tool for retailers of any size.

Utilise bags for life as a marketing tool

As well as the sheer brand exposure that bags for life give you, you can be even cleverer with what you print on them, and use them to fit in with your existing marketing campaigns.

For example, if you have a big promotion coming up that you want to spread the word about, a hashtag that you want people to get involved in, or even if you want to share designs that fit in with seasonal campaigns like Christmas or Halloween, you can use your printed reusable bags to get the message out there.

Use it to work with a charity

Aside from the environmental benefits, another hugely positive thing to come from the 5p carrier bag charge is that the proceeds from single use carrier bags are being donated to charities and other good causes.

This is a great chance for retailers to show what they’re giving back to their local community, and some stores are even teaming up with dedicated charities to build a partnership, and encourage customers to donate too.

By putting your name behind the campaign for a worthy cause, you are helping them to raise awareness and donations, as well as telling customers that you care about your social responsibility.

You could incorporate the name or logo of the charity in your printed carrier bag design, or even go a step further and get directly involved in fundraising events for the cause.

The carrier bag levy doesn’t have to just be a headache for retailers, it can work to your advantage too. If you’d like a quote for branded reusable bags, call us on 0191 268 7555 or email 

(Featured image from here)