Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Conservation announced that its ban on single-use plastic shopping bags will go into effect on July 1. This decision is in contrast to other states – such as Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire – that chose to postpone or pause implementation of their bag bans or their fees on the use of such bags in light of heightened hygiene concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
To counter concerns that reusable bags can spread contagion, Vermont’s agency is recommending that customers bag their own groceries and wash their reusable bags regularly.
Statements about the safety of reusable products, including shopping bags, and increasingly being offered. Scientists are emphasizing that the transmission risk is from breathing in droplets containing the virus, not from contact with surfaces, reusable shopping bags or otherwise.
The long-term challenge is to rebuild the habit of using reusable products and create new habits around proper cleaning and maintenance of these items.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s catalog of packaging research, including Retail Bags and Global Single-Use Plastic Packaging Regulations. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.