The Bag Problem Today
The two main challenges with today’s bags stem from raw material usage and material recovery after-use. Today, the majority of single-use plastic bags are made from low-cost, fossil fuel-derived virgin plastic. They are not compostable and although technically recyclable, very few complete the journey to a recycling facility.
The Five Most Common Bags Used Today
While single-use retail plastic bags are the industry standard, consumers are increasingly trying to make eco-friendly bag choices. But today’s alternatives carry their own set of drawbacks. From production through end of life, no product presently existing at scale offers a tenable, long-term solution.
A Shifting Retail Reality
The context of retail bags is changing on every level. Consumer and regulatory reactions against single-use plastic bags aren’t surprising. Consumers want something better and regulation in this arena is rapidly evolving, with diverse forms of government taxes, fees, or outright bans on single-use plastic bags across the globe. Change is coming, opening up opportunities for design.