Ikea retail stores are joining the effort to reduce plastic bag use. The company announced today that, starting March 15, it no longer will offer customers free plastic bags. Regular bags will cost 5 cents, and Ikea's large reusable blue bags will cost 59 cents. Proceeds will go to American Forests, a conservation organization. The Conshohocken, Pa.-based U.S retailer, which is owned by Swedish company Inter Ikea Systems BV, said its goal is to completely eliminate plastic bag use in all of its stores.
Ikea projects that the number of plastic bags used by their U.S. customers will be reduced by at least 50 percent from 70 million to 35 million in the first year. This program was launched in IKEA stores in the [United Kingdom] in late Spring 2006, and reduction has been a monumental 95 percent. Also, blue bag purchases were increased, since IKEA encouraged usage for a multitude of purposes.Paying for plastic bags definitely will cut their use. I was at a grocery store yesterday that charges a nickel per bag, and it's amazing how creative consumers can be to save a bit of money.