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Plastic Bags saga

The world is going through and environmental shake-up. Every week there is a new focus on what can be done to save the environment from being further polluted by humans. The main focus is always the consumer and never the manufacturer.

I have noticed that when I go into shops these days I am being asked if I need a bag. At first I thought what a stupid question to ask. I am pushing a pushchair with a basket that is non existent and ensuring my toddler is not causing damage to the shop. Of course I want a plastic bag. How else am I going to get these items home. Can you imagine me going into another shop that sells the same items and having to produce a receipt for said items because burly security/toy cop/store staff (delete as appropriate) think I am stealing. Or explaining to the till person I paid for these in another shop.

I remember Kwik Save was the only supermarket where you had to buy your plastic bags. You were given a choice of 1p bags which were really flimsy or 3p bags which were better quality. So you knew your shopping was not going to drop out the bottom before you carried them home, if you did not drive. As was the case for me. They also gave you the option of free cardboard boxes. Waste packaging from their shelf fillers.

Marks N Spencer is a big British Brand High Street Shop. They have announced that they will be charging its shoppers 5p per plastic bag when shopping in the food chains they have. I do not see how 5p will make a difference, just increase the profit margin for the chain. If the option is to buy a plastic bag or carry your groceries in your hand what would you do. Plus it is not like marks N sparks are a bargain shop. If Asda or Sainsbury’s was doing this than I would see an impact. I am assuming people who shop in marks have enough disposable cash to pay that extra 5p or they could shop elsewhere.

According to the press release from Marks N Spencer they claim there charge is to encourage change.

“Marks & Spencer is to roll-out a 5p charge for food carrier bags in all* of its UK stores from the beginning of May to encourage customers to reduce the number of bags they use and to raise money for environmental projects.”

You can read more about their move here>> 5p plastic bags mark n sparks . Marks in their press release outline how charging for plastic will pay for their charity green work. Surely they could have just used a smidgen of their profits and given each shopper a free re-usable cotton shopper bag. Everyone loves a freebie and I am sure they will re-use them.

The PM Gordon Brown according to the Daily Mail is going to force supermarkets to charge for plastic or be forced to do so. Read more here >> PM to force supermarkets to charge for plastic bags .

How long can a re-useable cloth/plastic/other material last for before needing replacement. Paper bags will not help the environment unless made from 100% recycled material.

I must admit the last time I went to the Body Shop I almost bought a shopper bag but my jaw dropped when I discovered the price was £3. The bag was so small and Marks do a bigger but less strong it seems bag for the same price. I gratefully took one of their small bio-degradable bags.

Trolley bags on wheels I see coming into fashion and no longer a granny staple. Buses will need to be bigger to accommodate. Afterall as well has not having a bag to carry your shopping in, you are expected to use the expensive un-reliable public transport.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Simply Me

    It has gone mad all of a sudden hasn’t it? It’s like there is a different cause every few months. Last one was carbon footprints, now it’s plastic bags.

    August 6, 2008 at 9:08 pm
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