Out of concern for the implications plastics have for the environment, there has been a growing movement among cities and states to regulate the use of single-use plastic bags. As the public sector launches policy initiatives to prevent the environmental hazard caused by plastics, more and more companies are proactively stepping up to address the issue. Brands like Walmart, IKEA, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market have all banned single-use plastic bags or implemented other efforts to promote sustainable shopping habits.
The ALDO Group, a Canadian-based footwear and accessories company, is the latest brand to take a bold stance on the issue of single-use shopping bags. This week the group announced that both ALDO and Call It Spring will begin to phase out all single-use shopping bags from its corporate stores worldwide. The newest bag-free initiative provides shoppers with the option to choose an eco-designed shoebox with a built-in handle over the traditional single-use paper bag. Customers who prefer a bag will be able to purchase reusable eco-totes, from which all profits will be donated to The Ocean Legacy Foundation, the Ocean Conservancy and ME to WE, which supports clean water projects in Kenya.
The ALDO Group estimates that the elimination of these shopping bags will keep 10 million bags out of the ecosystem and save approximately 8,500 trees per year. The initiative will include activations in New York and London that will showcase the impact the brand will have by moving away from single-use bags. These activations will take inspiration from both Central Park and Hyde Park, and stores will be completely paperless during both events.
In addition to existing regulation, companies and brands also wield an enormous power to influence sustainable consumer habits and the well-being of the environment. Not only do initiatives like ALDO’s help to ensure the longevity of the natural environment we all rely on; they also serve as a unique opportunity to engage with both shoppers and communities in key markets.