• A scatterbrained woman’s thoughts on plastic bags

    CREDIT: REUTERS/PETR JOSEK

    CREDIT: REUTERS/PETR JOSEK

    Just after Christmas I went up to Glasgow to stay with family and went out sales shopping. I was a little surprised when, in Marks and Spencer, I was asked if I wanted a carrier bag for my clothing purchase, and even more surprised when I was charged 5p for it. Surprised, but not cross, quite pleased really.

    When I got back to my parents-in-law, I mentioned it to them, and had to smile when both my mother- and grandmother-in-law produced small reusable bags from their handbags. I was impressed. The 5p charge was obviously working.

    It made me think. I have the best intentions not to get carrier bags, I have a huge collection of reusable shopping bags. I also have a mountain of single use plastic bags from all the times I have forgotten to take my reusable bags.

    The Government estimates that 8 billion carrier bags are given out in supermarkets each year. That equates to 130 per person per year. That’s 57000 tonnes of carrier bags ending up in landfill every year*. Yikes!

    In October of this year England will see the introduction of a 5p charge for carrier bags at the supermarket, to bring it in line with the other countries in the UK who already charge this.  The introduction of the charge in Wales resulted in a 79% reduction in carrier bag usage.

    My biggest problem is remembering to take bags with me.  If I have a carrier bag with me, I will happily use, and willingly give plastic bags back to retailers in favour of using a bag I already have. Hopefully, a 5p charge will encourage me to make sure I always have bags with me – if not the new legislation could get expensive!

    What about you? Do you have any tips on plastic bag reusage for a scatterbrained mum?

    *Source – https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-and-managing-waste/supporting-pages/charging-for-single-use-plastic-carrier-bags

    One response to “A scatterbrained woman’s thoughts on plastic bags”

    1. sissyeaton says:

      I carry a larger than I need diaper bag for small purchases while the kiddos and I are out with the stroller and store the grocery bags in the car. I am terrible about remembering things, so I have to stay on top of it. I love my cloth bags not just because they are eco friendly, but because they are just easier to carry and make for fewer trips bringing in the groceries.

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