Sustainable success for One Bag Habit


More than half of our customers are giving plastic bags a miss. And profits from the bags sold have raised just over 50 000 Euros for good causes. In its first three months, One Bag Habit has been doing good for people and the environment alike.

On 1 June, a new law came into effect by which traders must inform their customers of plastic bags’ negative effect on the environment. So KappAhl teamed up with Lindex and H&M to become part of One Bag Habit, an initiative that goes one step further, charging customers for any bags used and donating the profits to good causes.

Now, six months later, a further 17 store chains have joined One Bag Habit, and many smaller stores have created their own initiatives.

The environmental effects have been great.

“More than half of our customers choose not to use bags when they shop. That’s a drastic change,” says Fredrika Klarén, Sustainability Manager at KappAhl.

In One Bag Habit’s first three months, KappAhl’s plastic bag sales have made a profit of 54,200 Euros.

That money has been donated to UNHCR’s emergency response work with refugees in Bangladesh, as well as to the Hunger Project’s Unleashed Women, a movement that offers women microfinance loans to enable them to start businesses, works to end child marriage and keep girls in school, and campaigns for access to healthcare and quality nutrition for mothers and children.

“One Bag Habit has been a success on every level. Customers are more aware of bags’ environmental impact, and hardly any have reacted negatively to the initiative,” says Klarén.

Moving forward, the aim is to launch One Bag Habit on all of our markets. Norway is next in line, followed by Finland – both of which expected to introduce One Bag Habit in spring. For Poland and the UK, there is no concrete time scale as yet.

In spring, we will be selling tote bags in stores, as part of the One Bag Habit concept. Profits from the sale of these bags will also go to good causes.

Klarén is – not unexpectedly – very pleased with the outcome of One Bag Habit so far, but she makes it clear that we need to keep at it.

“There is a risk of campaigns like this flagging after a while. We must continue to talk about why we want to reduce bag consumption and keep engagement up – in ourselves as well as our customers.”