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Here in L.A., they have this new law that grocery stores are forbidden from giving out plastic bags. That’s right. Forbidden. Truth be told, when all is said and done, it’s a good thing.  They still offer paper bags, but for .10 per piece!  You should see it.  Before, no one cared how many bags the bagger packed their groceries in. God forbid they packed the meat with the fruit or the chicken with the Windex. Now, because each bag is a dime, the mandate from the customer seems to be to pack as much as humanly possible into each bag.  Chicken on top of asparagus on top of Pine Sol on top of cantaloupe on top of Frosted Flakes.  A dime’s a dime, right?  A little aside: they still give out plastic bags for free in the produce section. Oh, the hypocrisy of it all. I’m not quite sure how those bags are ok and the others aren’t. But I’ll save that for another rant.

From a marketing standpoint, the good news is that the death of the plastic bag has paved the way for one of the best branding opportunities to come along virtually since the dawn of man. There’s no reason every company shouldn’t be giving away recyclable grocery totes to all of their customers regardless of the industry they’re in.  This way, when they go to the market, they’re advertising your brand. Not the name of the store they’ve just bought in. Why would you want your customers advertising WHOLE FOODS or TRADER JOES when they could just as easily be advertising you.  Best of all, these bags are dirt cheap and the minimums are very low.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a movie studio, a dry cleaners or a pizza joint, you should be giving these bags to your customers.  Click one of the links to the right and you’ll get an idea of your options.  And if you’re really ambitious, you can do something really crazy and decorate the whole bag with a full, four color process design (on every side).  Higher minimums, but greater impact. 


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