According to the Association of United Supermarkets (ASU), demand for bags has fallen by up to 75% in large chains. More than two weeks after supermarkets started charging between 0.15 and 0.25 dollars per plastic bag, strong changes in habits among customers are already being noticed. According to the Association of United Supermarkets (ASU), the demand for bags has decreased by up to 75% in large grocery chains. They also note that many more consumers are now going to the supermarket with their own refills.
“The balance is positive. In the big chains, the use of bags has been reduced by an average of 50%, and in some cases it has dropped to a quarter of what was used before,” Juan Vasco Martínez, executive director of ASU, revealed to Clarín. He added: “Now more people are coming with their collections and bags, and reusable cloth or plastic ones are selling 50% more.”
In Carrefour, for example, they said that the sale of reusable bags, which cost 5 and 8 dollars depending on the capacity, increased by 144 percent. “People started looking for alternatives such as reusable bags, monkeys and even their own bags or backpacks,” they explained. And they specified that the demand for consumables fell “almost 60%”.
They noted the same decline at Walmart, and agreed that many more customers now go with their monkeys or bags, whose sales they also see “increasing.” To encourage this habit, the chain pioneered the provision of privileged “eco boxes” for those who transport their own cargo. Action that was already repeated a few days ago by another large chain.
“The measure served to raise awareness and in general people’s reaction was good,” said Vasco Martínez. It is, however, a vision that is at odds with that of several consumer associations.
“People complain. Many people got angry when they found out and even decided to take matters into their own hands, because they are the same bags as before,” complained Sandra González, owner of Adecua. And he stated that the measure “only transferred to the consumer the cost that was previously part of the price, without any return benefit”.