By Dan Shapley
Retailer Charges Consumers Five Cents Per Plastic Bag
It's a market economy, and IKEA has set the market rate for plastic bags: Five cents. The Swedish home goods retailer now charges customers a per-bag fee if they want plastic and don't bring their own bags. It also sells reusable bags in its effort to encourage its customers to choose carefully how they carry. Plastic is petroleum, we're often reminded -- so reducing plastic bag waste is one way to reduce oil use, pollution and all the attendant ills that can come with unbridled consumption. IKEA's solution is one of several out there. Grocery stores have for years given customers who bring their own bags a rebate -- often five cents per bag. And some California cities have banned plastic altogether. On that spectrum, IKEA's program fits squarely in the center -- it still offers consumers a choice, but makes them think twice about the cost of that choice.