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11 October 2015

THE END OF PLASTIC BAGS


So, the UK is now fully committed to providing fewer plastic bags to shoppers. Of course we can still have one if we pay for it. 5p in English money ... not exactly a break the bank figure, is it? I wonder how many will pay up rather than carry their own bag(s) to the store? 

The fracas has started already. One guy refused to pay his 5p which forced the assistance to transfer everything from plastic bag to wire basket. Guy wanted to take the basket out to his car but his request demand wasn’t met. There wasn’t exactly a punch-up but things were heated enough to be televised. Now I’m wondering why the cameras were there in the first place?! 

Does anyone remember the days when paper carriers were used, you know, those recyclable things ousted for the sake of plastic. We used to carry groceries home in paper bags, ones without handles, hugging them tight in fear of dropping something, all the time fancying ourselves as being American. Yes, we had a Safeways and loved it. Then came Walmart, quickly followed by ASDA. I can’t remember who introduced the plastic bag but I seem to remember ASDA were first to have personalised carriers. My illusion of carrying ‘American’ paper bags like the people in films was quickly dashed.

Before that there were baskets. Oh boy, was I proud to use my pretty basket (which I still have, by the way) but that was pre-housewife days when not much shopping was done. I couldn’t imagine carrying grocery in a basket these days. Far too heavy! No, these days I get stuff delivered.

So now, when shopping I take fold-up bags which are permanently kept in handbag, purse, or car. They weigh nothing and open easily. The only thing about not having plastic bags is that there’s nothing to put the rubbish in. Still, we have wheelie bins for that. 

21 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

I, for one, agree with the change. But what I don't understand is the way it has been introduced in England. In Wales and Northern Ireland there is a flat rate across the board for people who want to use plastic bags. In England this varies according to what you buy. Confusing, isn't it? And I feel, slightly patronising.

Greetings from London.

DeniseinVA said...

We still use a lot of plastic bags here but I have several reusable cloth bags that I take to the store when I can remember them. A lot of stores give you a choice of plastic or paper. I always opt for paper. Then there are those stores who don't use plastic and paper is all you get, unless you take your own.

Banker Chick said...

Bringing your own bag is making its way across the US. DD1, Santa Barbara area is total bring your own bag. When we were visiting last Christmas I ended up with many reusable bags from Albertson's as I could not remember to bring back the ones I had in the camper. Our area is barely into separating trash into recyclables. Our pick up here in Hooterville, is totally NOT into recyclables, I separated stuff for a while, but saw it go straight into the same trash. I do send my newspaper to the school's paperbin, as the student body gets cash for that.

joeh said...

I think they are on the way out and I won't miss them. Bring your own fold up reusable bags..much better. Drives me crazy when they pack things in individual plastic bags, no doubt because o complaining a-holes who want stuff separated.

Jenny Woolf said...

I always reuse them for bin liners but I suppose I'll have to start buying bin liners now!

Mersad said...

I don't buy plastic bags. I always bring my cloth bags to the grocery store. They can carry much heaver load and you can wash them.

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

kden said...

Only a few big cities in our state have banned plastic bags. I take my own cloth bags but still like plastic occasionally for garbage can liners. Even the paper bags are not as strong as they used to be; try to pick up by an edge and the whole side rips off.

Valerie said...

Cuban, I agree. It's a silly idea when all that need be done is to abolish all plastic bags.

Valerie said...

Denise, like you I carry a couple of cloth bags around. They fold small, tuck into a side pocket of the handbag and don't add any weight. People are very adaptable, even the moaners will soon stop moaning.

Valerie said...

Jenny, we too used them as bin liners. We can still use black dustbin bags so at the moment my stuff goes straight in. I haven't needed to change the bag in the kitchen for weeks.

Valerie said...

BC, I am surprised that certain areas don't recycle. It's the IN thing here.

Valerie said...

Joeh, who on earth wants stuff separated to that extent? I well, I guess there's always a few uncaring people still around.

Valerie said...

Mersad, you are right.

Valerie said...

kden, the paper bags I remember were really strong. I suppose everything changes in time.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

It is good plastic bags are banned except those confirming to certain microns. I am not sure how many microns. In supermarkets in India such bags are sold at RS.4. Plastic bags beyond certain no of microns are banned but still you will generally find people carrying these bags without fear of getting punished.

To divert from plastic I would also like to state that in my town public smoking is banned yet you will find people smoking with impunity.

It is good to carry paper bags,jute bags and gunny bags which are destructible.

The sickening part is to see people burning used plastic bags in the open and the smoke and smell emanating from this burning is very harmful for health. Since the municipal authorities have not made proper arrangement in some places for collecting waste and plastic, people just throw the waste on the roadside and it very pathetic to see dogs,cows,goats and cats trying to feed upon the waste.

I hope things will improve slowly since the public are becoming more conscious of cleanliness.

Excellent and very interesting post.

troutbirder said...

Here is the country where millions want to get rid of a large part of government for assorted nonsensical reasons there would be a massive uproar. Personally I tend to think plastic bags a national menace. If for no other reason than the don't decompose....

Mr. Shife said...

We get plastic bags at the store because they come in handy to take care of Tank's droppings but I wouldn't be surprised if they are not as readily available in the US in a few years. Hope all is well with you and Joe. Take care.

Geraldine said...

I got rid of my plastic bags a LONG time ago but here in BC, all too many people use them with abandon, with no concept of the big picture re: the environment. The only thing we still need the small ones for on an ongoing basis is Mr. Cheddar's...ahemmm...well you know!!! I'm glad a lot of the ones they are making now are compositable, that's something more positive.

Valerie said...

Geraldine, the environment is the most important reason for removing plastic bags and other stuff. I understand Mr Cheddar's predicament though... smiles.

CrystalChick said...

A good thing, less plastic. We have plastic bags here too, in some stores they put the groceries into paper bags then into a plastic one so there's a handle. Seems like just keeping the handles on the paper ones would have been better… except for in the rain, of course. We can buy the recycle bags that you return to the store with. I'll have to consider doing that.

Valerie said...

Mary, I have lightweight shopping bags, they are pretty and fold up to a 2 inch square. They weight nothing and it's no problem to leave them in the handbag and haul out when I go shopping.