Trying to be a more environmentally friendly store

I have been running two stores of a family business for over a year now. I understand the ins and outs, but one thing that has consistently been bugging me is the amount of plastic bags we use. I’d estimate we are going through 10,000 bags a week. Add on another 5,000 cups and lids. Throw in another 10,000 take out containers.

Simply put, I’m not in a location where the clientele are very environmentally conscious. I’ve only ever seen maybe 10 customers take it upon themselves to bring a take out container or coffee cup. I’ve never seen a reusable bag.

Any ideas would be helpful. I love our planet and personally try and do my part, but changing other people’s habits isn’t easy. My initial idea is to give $.01 back for every reusable bag someone uses, $.03 for every reusable container, and $.05 for every reusable coffee/drink mug. These are cheaper than the prices we pay for our takeout materials, so it’s a win-win. I also wanted to sell some reusable totes. But how can I try and get people to get on board?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

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