Plastic bags are my personal hate.
Why do people always ask for bags just to carry the apple and tooth brush that they have just bought? Don’t they have pockets? Or is their handbag just not big enough?
I nearly always have a spare cloth bag in my handbag for shopping. For that matter my handbag is cavernous enough that most ‘emergency shopping’ will fit into it. My cloth bags are pretty and I do love them, but there are days when I really want to shout ‘THIS IS NOT A PLASTIC BAG…look it is possible!!!’. And here we go someone has done it for me.
Here are a few scary facts…
- UK consumers use an estimated 10 billion plastic bags a year – that’s 167 per person 1
- 80% of UK consumers currently re-use their plastic bags at least once for a variety of purposes – such as bin liners, nappy sacks or lunch bags2
- It costs supermarkets around half a penny to produce 1 typical plastic bag 3
- UK retailers spend £64-£80 million per year on providing plastic bags to their customers 3
Plastic bags account for approximately:
- 0.1 – 1% of visible litter in the UK 4
- 2% of total litter on UK beaches 5
- 0.3% of the domestic waste stream 6
- 3.5 – 5.3% of total plastic packaging used in the UK 7
Just think about it. Do you really want to carry around an advertising board for Tesco? After all surely they are rich enough?
So why don’t you get out there and shout too? Visit We are what we do, and either make your pledge to say – no thank you very much – to the next check out girl who starts to pack your purchases into a plastic bag; Or why not get your mits on one of these bags too?!
Think about where plastic bags go. Do you automatically use them for bin liners? Or do you do something far more inventive.
1.Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) consultant’s report, 2005
2.‘Carrier bag usage and attitudes’ – March 2005 survey commissioned by WRAP
3.Information supplied to Scottish Parliament by the Carrier Bag Consortium
4.INCPEN (Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment) visible litter study 2004
5.Marine Conservation Society (MCS) annual beach litter survey 2004
6.HM Treasury’s Plastic Bags Tax Assessment in December 2002