Think Outside The Bag

Say NO to single-use!

Creating a system that rewards reuse

Getting to Zero Waste is about engaging citizens and using our collective power to change the systems around us. That’s why we’re campaigning to reduce single-use retail bags in Yukon.

A policy on single-use bags would send a clear message that waste reduction is important to our communities and we all have a role to play. It would also be a great first step in addressing how to keep valuable resources in circulation.


Why bags?

Single-use bags are a poster child for our throwaway society. The average life of a single-use bag is just 12 minutes.

Replacing single-use bags with reusable bags makes environmental and economic sense. A large scale shift to reusable grocery and retail bags will prevent the use of significant petroleum, paper and water resources and the release of harmful emissions associated with making and transporting single-use bags.

Single-use bags litter our sensitive wild spaces and take up valuable space in our rapidly growing landfills. Switching to reusables is key to extending the life of our landfills, and is one small step we can take to move towards a circular economy where resources are kept in circulation as long as possible.


What’s the solution?

There are two types of bag policies considered best practices for encouraging behaviour change. Bag fees or hybrid bag bans. Under a hydrid bag ban, single-use plastic bags are banned, and a fee is placed on all other types of single-use bag. Under a fee-only system, all types of bags are available for a fee.

Fees are an effective method for reducing bag consumption and changing consumer behaviour, because a customer is forced to make a conscious decision to purchase a bag.

Some people reuse checkout bags as trash can liners and for other purposes, so a fee provides choice to consumers while still encouraging the use of reusable bags.

Here’s just a few examples of successful bag fees or hybrid bans across the globe:

Northwest Territories: Over 70% reduction in single-use bags distributed after $0.25 fee introduced

Ireland: 90% reduction in bag use and single-use bag litter with fee of 22 Euro cents

Washington, DC: 50-70% reduction in bag usage following introduction of a $0.05 bag fee

San Jose: Banned plastic bags and introduced $0.10 bag charge on paper. Reduced litter 89% in storm drain system, 60% in creeks and rivers, and 59% in city streets and neighbourhoods.

Netherlands: 70% less bags used and 40% less bag litter – fees are determined by retailers.


Take Action!

Small, local actions help make an impact and bring about local change. Here are some things you can do right now:

  • Bring Your Own Bag and encourage your friends and family to do the same!
  • Tell local retailers and politicians you want to see concrete actions to reduce single-use consumption!
  • Get Caught Green Handed! Bring your own bag – we might catch you in the act and you’ll win a prize!
  • Bugged about bags? Share your story on social media with the hashtag #ThinkOutsideTheBag!
  • Visit our Zero Waste Yukon Facebook page or get in touch with us at to get involved!

Questions? Visit our FAQ page!


Frequently Asked Questions


Have other questions about bag reduction and single-use waste? Bugged about bags? Get in touch with us at or through our Facebook page!

Join Us Today!