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Reusable Bags Are the Bags of Choice in Place of Plastic

December 5, 2013 by adminify

On Monday evening, December 2nd, the Barrington Town Council was presented with raw data of a consumer survey on the plastic bag ban. Three things were very apparent according to the survey. One, reusable bags have an edge over paper as reusable bags seem to be the bag of choice in place of plastic grocery bags. In addition, most people in Barrington favor the two-year ban that started in January on grocery check-out bags.  And, lastly, most people in Barrington are shopping about the same as they did before the ban.  

These were only three of the results of a consumer survey on the plastic bag ban completed by four Roger Williams University students under the direction of political science professor Joseph Roberts, a member of the Conservation Commission, which proposed the ban.

These results were presented to the Town Council. The results will be analyzed by the Conservation Commission with a report on the overall results expected to be presented to the Town Council at their February 2014 meeting.

Out of the 450 surveys started, students said that 358 of the lengthy surveys were completed and reusable bags were always selected or selected most of the time by 211 respondents to replace plastic grocery bags. Paper bags were selected always or most of the time by only 151 people.

In addition, 59% of the people shop about the same as they did in Barrington before the ban was imposed and another 12% shop significantly more or somewhat more, according to the survey. 28% of people shop somewhat less or significantly less than before the ban.

Some of the other results include:

  • 64% do not favor a fee on paper checkout bags
  • 50% favor a statewide ban on plastic bags; 41% do not favor such a ban
  • Most shoppers always or most of the time used plastic or reusable bags before the ban; paper bags were chosen the least
  • 54% of people do not bring their own bags when shopping for groceries; 46% do bring their own bags
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