Retail

Older American Women Leading the Reusable Bag Charge

Image Credit: Joseph De Leo

For the first time since CivicScience started tracking the data, the number of Americans who use reusable shopping bags has eclipsed the number of Americans who rarely or never use them.

And while the above chart is illuminating, breaking it down further shows just how drastic the recent change has been, with the percentage of people who never use reusable bags cratering in recent months. 

So who, exactly, is using reusable shopping bags? Perhaps flying in the face of conventional wisdom, it’s not the younger generations who are thought to be more in tune with environmental issues. In fact, Americans age 55 and older are 38% more likely to use reusable bags every chance they get as opposed to members of Generation Z. 

Also worth noting: The differences in usage don’t change nearly as drastically with people who say they only use the bags when it’s convenient, or with people who only occasionally use the bags. This trend holds true with almost every comparison that follows.

Women are an astounding 48% more likely than men to use reusable shopping bags every chance they get. But again, note the convenience and occasional users: Nary a difference. 

City residents are the most likely to use reusable shopping bags every chance they get, and rural Americans are the least likely to use them at all.

Interestingly, level of education does not play a major role, with college graduates using reusable bags only 7% more than Americans who only have a high school degree or less.

Here’s another surprise, albeit a small one: Americans with household incomes under $50,000 a year are 7% more likely to use reusable bags all the time compared to those Americans with incomes over $100,000. 

Obviously, people who say they adjust their lifestyle to help the environment use reusable bags at a very high rate. But here’s something that may bode well for the future of reusable bags: Americans who say they never adjust their lifestyle for the environment are still using reusable bags every chance they get at a 15% clip.

Here’s a few other quick-hit findings when it comes to reusable bags …

CHICK-FIL-UP MY PLASTIC BAG: People with a favorable view of Chick-fil-A are not exactly keen on the idea of using reusable bags, with only 24% of that cohort saying they use them every chance they get.

SAVE A BUCK, SAVE A PLANET: The more coupons people clip, the more likely they are to use reusable bags. People who always clip coupons when shopping for items other than food use reusable bags every chance they get at a 52% higher rate than Americans who don’t use coupons.

BURLAP IS SO IN THIS YEAR: Americans who dress themselves based on fashion trends are 35% more likely to tote around a sack everywhere they go compared to Americans who really don’t care about the catwalk. 

TARGET VS. WALMART: Americans with a favorable view of Target use reusable bags regularly at a 30% clip; those with a favorable view of Walmart only use the bags 27% of the time.

Reusable shopping bag use is on the rise, and as evidenced by many of the charts above, those who buy in buy in all the way. But with older Americans being the leaders in usage, it’s fair to wonder if the reusable bag trend may start to wither with time. 

Now that you know a little about CivicScience, tell us about you!

  • Hi, my name is
  • and I work for
  • .
  • You can contact me at
  • to keep me in the loop about the latest insights.

Explore More from CivicScience

Finance Finance
Health Healthcare
Hospitality
Media Media & Entertainment
Politics
icon-retail Retail
Technology