So yesterday, England, joined many other countries, in the way plastic bags we get with our shopping are distributed. The common, single use plastic bag, most of us take for granted, will no longer be free, unless in certain circumstances. This is not a surprise thing, snuck up on us by a government trying to distract us from other furtive things it’s trying to enforce (unusually I know) or something to make our lives difficult, but is in fact something that many other countries in Europe and across the world already have in place. Here, if you want to use a plastic bag, you will pay a small fee per bag, if the retailer is someone that employs more than 250 people. In other words, big retailers, supermarkets and the like. We have known about it for months, most retailers have signs up, e-mails have been sent from organisations, it’s been on the news and social media, and even our elderly neighbour, who doesn’t have a TV or “do social media” knew about it and waved her cloth bags at me as she passed me on the way to the shops this morning, and SHE reminded me, so you would, frankly, have to live under a rock, to not know it was coming and to either be prepared to pay 5p a bag, or take your own bags, when you go shopping.
According to the media, it’s been unparalleled chaos in the shops today but to be honest, having been to a major supermarket in a busy lunch hour, then several shops in my local shopping centre, then John Lewis, Wilko and PC World, in a busy shopping area where I work, I saw no chaos. At every pay point I was asked politely “have you brought your own bags, or would you like to pay for some?” and the queues are no worse, and everyone seems good natured about it. It’s here, it’s here to stay, it’s be proven beyond a doubt that it works in other countries, with the production and use of plastic single use bags being vastly diminished and the dreadful impact they have on the environment reduced as well, so frankly, there’s not much we can do other than be prepared to pay or bring your own bags.
It’s a good thing, people. Stop whinging about it. It’s not the end of the world. You will cope. Plastic bags, whilst they have their uses, are unsightly when discarded, lethal to wildlife, and take hundreds of years to even vaguely decompose. Retailers are organised and prepared to cope with the change and in a few weeks we’ll have forgotten what all the fuss is about.
Grab some nice reusable bags and embrace the change. I am… I figure I survived the removal of ozone destroying CFC’s from spray cans in the ’80’s, (yes, I’m that old!) so this shouldn’t be too hard! ?
Exactly!! The media just love to exaggerate…
I live in a country where paying for plastic bags is the norm and everybody carries a fold up cloth bag in their handbag. I was quite amused by some of the tweets I saw yesterday about the charge!
I don’t remember to get bags from home and I have to get them from the shop. Now, with this tax, I’ll have to remember because I don’t want to spend 5p for something that will end up in a landfill. I didn’t want to, but as I said, I forget the bags. I think it’s a great thing and less people will get them.
I hope you don’t mind me saying, but if I click on a link, it takes me to that page and away from your blog. I can’t right click and open new page because you’ve blocked it. You can add a code to the link is it opens in another window and leaves your blog open for the reader.
Thank you for the reminder about the post opening in a new page. I wrote the post from my phone and it doesn’t do that option, it usually does on WP on the PC. I will go and change it.
People adapt so quickly. I was shaking my head recently at the fact that people used to smoke inside public places and not give it a second thought, that would be unthinkable now. I did feel a bit sorry for my ASDA delivery driver this morning, as we had to unload everything piece by piece.
I’m with you and think it’s another thing that the media have made a story out of and completely missed the point. Most sensible people already carry reusable shopping bags for their big shops anyway (don’t they??)
We’ve had to pay for bags since, well, forever. And when I do forget my own shopping bags, I’m grateful that the plastic ones are accepted in our curbside recycling. Honestly, I think people should pay more than just a few cents for the plastic ones…create some real incentive to start using the reusable bags!