North Carolina Celebrates Clean Beaches 5 Years After Plastic Bag Ban

July 14, 2014
When the North Carolina Outer Banks banned plastic bags from the community in 2009, it was one of the first areas in the U.S. to do so. Area residents and officials were shocked at the amount of plastic bags littering the coastline, so they did something about it. Five years later, the Outer Banks public works department notes how easy it is to keep Cape Hatteras and other N.C. beaches clean. Reusable wholesale grocery bags have replaced the single-use plastics for good. Initial resistance from store owners quickly faded in the Outer Banks, a coastal community known for its pretty beaches and dependence on tourism. Objections that were based on increased costs for paper bags went away when the store owners realized that a clean coastline meant more business in the end. The plastic bag ban helps ensure the beaches will stay clean for the long term. Business owners also saw the ban as an opportunity to get involved with the community. Many stores ordered shipments of reusable wholesale grocery bags with their company’s name on them. That way, shoppers could avoid any bag fees while they would promote their businesses. It struck many merchants as a win-win situation. While helping the community and making sure tourists continued to enjoy the local beaches, they had a chance to promote their stores on the reusable bags. Single-use plastic bags often end up as litter, but the problem only begins there. Plastic particles can stay in the environment for over 500 years, contaminating the waters and harming sea life. Everything about plastic bags is bad for ocean communities. For that reason, the many bans in California and the nearly statewide measures in Hawaii are not surprising. North Carolina Outer Banks merchants made a smart move by opting to order wholesale grocery bags with their store logo as the bag’s main design. These reusable bags are helping the community and promote business at the same time. Find out how easy it is to begin a green movement in your community. For more information or for a quote please visit or contact us at 800.255.0885.