What Customers Really Want

We believe compostable products are the answer for both businesses and the earth, but is it what customers are really looking for?

To find out, we asked the public, and the results were undeniable…

It’s obvious by now that we believe in compostable products. And it’s clear that the science of environmental impact supports compostables over paper. Continuing the environmental benefits, compostable bags can and should be reused to collect food and organic waste in kitchen or other compost bins, making them potentially reusable for consumers, while paper bags, although compostable, are difficult and messy to reuse. Despite these facts, we get asked constantly by businesses whether compostable bags are what customers really want. So, rather than making assumptions, we wanted to know straight from the source, what do consumers really want? 

When it comes down to the grass-roots individual customers telling grocery cashiers their preference for packing, what would they choose? We conducted a poll reaching across North America to find out. We posed the question “Which type of shopping bag would you like a store to give?”  Respondents could choose between paper or compostable bags. The response was overwhelming.

We ran the poll for a month, during which time it was seen by over 53,000 people. At the end of the month the results were a landslide: PEOPLE. WANT. COMPOSTABLES.  In the end, 90.41% of respondents voted that they would rather use compostable bags than paper, leaving less than 10% voting for paper. By running the poll for a full month, it allowed plenty of time for the results to swing back and forth and come to rest on the final decision.

In our Paper vs. Compostables series, we dive deep into the entire lifecycle impacts of both options using peer-reviewed studies, and demonstrate how compostables come out on top every time. Additionally, because of the similarities to plastic bags in terms of size and overall functionality, the transition from single-use plastics has never been easier. Businesses have very minimal policy or infrastructure changes that they need to undergo in order to implement this alternative and therefore fewer transitional costs as well. 

What this poll tells us is that, not only are compostable bags the most environmentally conscious option, but the customers want them. This information helps businesses overcome a common hurdle when trying to make the choice for what to replace single-use plastics with – the hurdle of convincing consumers to embrace the change. Knowing that customers are ready and waiting for that switch to compostables, business owners are able to ensure customer loyalty and appreciation. 

So what’s standing in your way? Let’s make the decision that’s best all around – for the Earth and for everyone living on it.

The results are in! People prefer compostable retail bags that they can reuse to collect kitchen scraps and organics,  rather than paper bags. ⁠

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