to think a charge for carrier bags is counterproductive

(147 Posts)
adsy Wed 28-May-14 21:26:41

Parliament are apparently going to approve a 5p charge for plastic bags.
Surely everyone reuses them as bin liners and if they werent getting the carrier bags would buy proper binliners instead which are made of thicker plastic so even more environmentally unsound.

Joules68 Wed 28-May-14 21:28:45

carrier bags don't fit my bin

snoofle Wed 28-May-14 21:29:39

Good point I think?

Writerwannabe83 Wed 28-May-14 21:31:23

I use carrier bags as rubbish bags all the time. I grab a bag on a daily basis and go into every room in the house, pick up anything that needs to go in the bin, stick it in my bag which then goes straight in the wheelie bin smile Our actual kitchen bin rarely gets used as not much stuff makes it that far before I've done my carrier bag cleaning frenzy smile

If you use them as binliners you might be inclined to hoard a load while they’re free.

theincrediblealfonso Wed 28-May-14 21:31:55

We've had the 5p charge for a while in Wales. Inevitably, there are times when I forget to take a bag with me and end up paying. I then use those as bin liners.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Wed 28-May-14 21:32:03

Most people don't reuse them for bin liners, where did you get that idea? I use bin liners for bin liners.

EatShitDerek Wed 28-May-14 21:32:45

I have a large plastic bag full of other plastic bags in my kitchen.

I use them as bins sometimes.

adsy Wed 28-May-14 21:33:26

Every house I go in uses carrier bags as bin liners or like writerwannabe does

YANBU. I have had this thought. I use bags for all sorts of stuff and would have to buy if I did not have the freebies.

adsy Wed 28-May-14 21:34:29

ehric what do you do with carrier bags then? Surely not just bin them?

I have a spesh cotton bag my mum made me for storing plastic bags. A bag bag.

chesterberry Wed 28-May-14 21:35:25

They already do this in Wales. When I was living in Wales it definitely reduced the amount of plastic bags I used, I bought cloth bags which fold up and could be kept in my handbag. It also meant that if I did need to buy a carrier bag I would pack my shopping to fit it in as few bags as possible which i didn't do before.

I'm in England now but still buy bin-liners as carrier bags don't fit my bin and the bin liners are a thin white plastic. You can get the bio-degradable or compostable bin liners too, although they are a bit pricey.

Think the 5p charge is a good idea personally but I will miss my green clubcard points.

CheapBread Wed 28-May-14 21:40:47

Since they started charging in Wales carrier bags are prized possessions no to be 'wasted'! I still use them as liners but empty the contents into a refuse sack so they stay in the bin until they get really manky and I begrudgingly use another. Top tip: I use the toilet roll plastic packaging as a liner for the bathroom bin. You'll get used to taking your own bag/carrying armfuls of stuff really quickly, honest.

kukeslala Wed 28-May-14 21:48:28

At 5p they would still be cheaper than actual bin liners any way wouldn't they?
If you prefer them just buy them at 5p and carry on using them.

PeppermintInfusion Wed 28-May-14 21:54:30

They've been charging 5p for them in NI for about a year, apparently it's reduced plastic bag usage by 70% or something (don't quote me on that but a LOT anyway) which I was surprised about. It is annoying when I forget my reusable bags, but I buy a bag when I have to use then as bin liners. Tbh you get used to it and keep a plastic bag stowed in various places in case of emergency.
It's certainly made me think about the plastic bags I am using and the 5p does not go into the shop's profits.

Zara8 Wed 28-May-14 21:54:37

You just horde them when you get them! I buy bin liners now, mind you I did anyway when I lived in a country with free plastic bags.

I live in Ireland where the plastic bag levy is 22c (about 15p).

Whenever I am in the UK I am shocked at the amount of plastic bags given out willynilly. It's so wasteful. People using them (maybe) as bin liners is not an excuse to reduce this amount of plastic use and consumption.

Sky hasn't fallen in here...


Britain is several decades behind continental Europe wrt to stopping the free supply of plastic bags in every shop which then end up cluttering up our streets, roadsides and waterways and my driveway.
It's about time that people used their own sturdier bags/crates when doing their grocery shopping - it's very easy to get use to, honest!

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 28-May-14 21:59:52

I live in wales, tbh the 5p a bag don't bother me when they are plastic.

I hate paying for paper bags, they are 100% recyclable and in the rain are pointless.

You get good at remembering bags.

lylasmam2012 Wed 28-May-14 22:00:41

We've had this in Ireland donkey's years now. I don't miss plastic bags at all.

Joysmum Wed 28-May-14 22:02:02

I part of a group of volunteer litter puckers in my town, believe me, plastic bags are the spawn of the devil along with those who hang bags if dig shit from trees or don't bother to pick up at all

KeepingUpAnon Wed 28-May-14 22:05:40


I live in Wales and as far as I can tell it really does work well.

People actually think about reusable bags now. I never bothered before and now always take my own bags shopping. Just walking around the supermarket, you can see that the majority of people have brought their own bags with them.

The only people I think it has negatively impacted is delivery men. No more dumping a fortnights worth of shopping on your doorstep and disappearing...they have to wait now while you take the plastic crates to the kitchen to unload them and then give them back.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Wed 28-May-14 22:08:52


We've had this for a while in Wales and it's cut carrier bag useage by a massive amount.

I don't use carrier bags as bin liners - never have. It'd be a terrible bin if it was only bin liner size!

hippoinamudhole Wed 28-May-14 22:09:11

Don't mind paying but would like a bag that doesn't tear so easily

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Wed 28-May-14 22:10:36

I hardly end up with any because I take my own bags!
I use them for things of course, sometimes involving rubbish. But I would manage perfectly fine without them.

MorrisZapp Wed 28-May-14 22:11:07

YABU. I use bin bags as bin bags. If you want to use carriers as bin bags, you can do so for a bargain 5p each.

Every country which has the charge has cut down plastic bag use dramatically.

It's a mad situation if people think they have a human right to free bin bags.

TalkinPeace Wed 28-May-14 22:11:45

About time they got rid of them
SO LONG AS supermarkets stop using them for delivery shopping

Zara8 Wed 28-May-14 22:11:56

KeepingUpAnon I never thought of that re delivery men!!

When I get the groceries delivered the Tesco driver brings them inside and unpacks the crate onto my kitchen table!! grin

So there's a benefit of the plastic bag charge!

Silverdaisy Wed 28-May-14 22:18:44

In my experience tesco plastic bags have holes (the size of tangerines) in the bottom. So cannot be used for general waste.

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 28-May-14 22:22:13

I only buy 1 carrier bag now, and that's for raw meat. Then I use that bag as tin recycling.

mousmous Wed 28-May-14 22:25:21

about time I say! maybe 5p is a bit low, though, 20p would be more adequate.

am sick of seeing those flimsy bags (that are useless anyway, too weak for any weighty items) blowing high up in the trees and on the motorway verges.
they are even useless as bin bags because of the holes.

I always carry a canvas bag or 2 in my bag for the chocolates pint of milk on the way home. for the weekly shop we use large plastic crates (ikea trofast boxes) in the boot of the car. no need for plastic bags.

Wantsunshine Wed 28-May-14 22:30:00

If they are going to charge I hope they go back to the better quality carrier bags rather than the flimsy ones they have now.

mousmous Wed 28-May-14 22:32:42

want you mean like the 'bags for life' (yeah right hmm )
newsflash shops already charge for these. the shops just need to ge rid of the flimsy bags.

mousmous Wed 28-May-14 22:37:20

sorry for the rant, am a bit grumpy tonight....

adsy Wed 28-May-14 22:38:26
this is interesting. plastic bags are made of a waste material so any environmental impact is caused by the use of the oil, not the making of the bag.
so, basically, it's about littering?

Like your top tip cheap bread.

sunbathe Wed 28-May-14 22:39:10

I remember when plastic bags first came in. They cost 3 or 4p iirc.


The biodegradable bags get on my wick. They degrade too quickly. They turn into confetti in my bag of bags.

RhondaJean Wed 28-May-14 22:40:43

I use them for bins and I am ripping at this charge.

I moved into this house less than 7 years ago. The carrier bags at the bottom of my idea carrier bag holder are therefore less than 7 years old and have disintegrated completely into flakes of white.

Killing the turtles my fucking arse.

welshnat Wed 28-May-14 22:43:37

The 5p charge in Wales goes to a charity (I'm assuming an environmental charity). But I can agree that it has greatly reduced the amount of carrier bags used. And the ones that are now bought, are mostly bags for life which are being reused. I think it's about time that England brought this policy into work too.

adsy Wed 28-May-14 22:43:49

Maybe if we send our used bags to the polar bears for them to carry their seals home in?

PortofinoRevisited Wed 28-May-14 22:45:04

I live in Belgium where you basically take your own bag (for life) to the shops, or have to buy a new reusuable one. Or use a cardboard box. It is not hard. I am always slightly horrified when I go in Sainsburys in the UK and your shopping ends up in about 50 of the flimsy plastic things. They were charging for bags in Dublin when I worked there 11 years ago. Surely it is not that scary a concept.

OorWullie Wed 28-May-14 22:48:19

i try and re-use all plastic packaging where i can, as PP said, plastic packaging from loo/kitchen roll gets used for the bathroom bin, carrier bags are always used as bin liners (haven't bought black bags for about two years), they also get used inside swimming bags for wet clothes, to carry lunch to/from work inside my handbag, keep a few in the car for general crap gathering.

alot of them come from local shop where they charge 2p a bag (proceeds to charity) and the rest from supermarket (free). i'll still buy them at 5p a bag purely out of habit, though i may get better at remembering to take bags for life for a big shop.

Wantsunshine Wed 28-May-14 23:14:48

Mousmous no I meant not quite as sturdy as the bags for life but somewhere In between that and the ones they give away now. I am sure that the bags used to be stronger about 10 years or so ago.

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 28-May-14 23:16:43

I used to love the kwik save bags, super strong and lasted forever.

M&S have charged 5p for bags for six years now, and use has dropped by 75%.

OwlCapone Wed 28-May-14 23:21:30

I can't believe that people are complaining because they might have to buy bin liners! Fancy having to pay for something...

RhondaJean Wed 28-May-14 23:23:32

Owl I am complaining because overall I will not be using any less plastic bags than I currently do but I will be paying more.

Sainsburys and I are both happy ŵith the current arrangement.

DuckworthLewis Wed 28-May-14 23:45:26

Reusing carrier bags/bags for life is just grim, things that have touched raw meat should be disposed of, never reused; they might then come into contact with food items that won't be cooked.

I hold a food hygiene certificate and it drums into you the dangers of the pathogens contained in raw meat and how they must be kept away from other food items. I find it bizarre that nobody seems to have thought about this issue in relation to carrier bags.

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 28-May-14 23:49:28

I have see up thread.

That why I buy 1 carrier bag a week, the cloth bags can be washed, normally do them all on my towel load.

chesterberry Thu 29-May-14 00:22:54

Reusing carrier bags/bags for life is just grim

Well it's only grim if you've bought raw meat and then re-use that bag. I'm vegan so not an issue for me but I know my mum always uses a separate carrier bag for raw meat which she does then throw away. All other carrier bags/ bags for life are kept and re-used.

That said doesn't raw meat bought in a supermarket usually come sealed in air-tight plastic packaging anyway?

DuckworthLewis Thu 29-May-14 06:48:10

You can't really be arguing that because you personally are a vegan, and your mum as an individual throws those bags away, that it is ok to expose the rest of the population to food poisoning?

What a strangely narrow minded viewpoint.

Food hygiene is a fairly niche area; most people have low levels of understanding around what constitutes a safe practice.

Oh and meat packaging frequently leaks, or has been stored in contaminated containers.

Andrewofgg Thu 29-May-14 06:54:18

What pisses me off is the proposal to give the money to charity, as in Wales.

When I give to charity I choose the amount and the charity. I don't outsource that to the Government.

This is a tax and should be called a tax.

Delphiniumsblue Thu 29-May-14 07:06:31

I think it is a great idea and I have just got into the habit of taking my bags. They don't fit my bin anyway.

DragonMamma Thu 29-May-14 07:47:05

Another Welsh person over here.

When they brought the levy in I was sceptical but it really has worked and it's become second nature to grab your carrier bags and jute bags for your wine when shopping.

I never used them as bin liners and the quality of the 5p ones is so poor that I can't see how they'd be any good these days. If I end up with too many carrier bags I just recycle the more dog eared ones.

MrsMook Thu 29-May-14 07:48:17

I use them for bin bags. By the time I'd fill a standard bin, it would be stinking, so a small, lidded bin lined with a carrier bag works well. I'd still be lining a bin with plastic, so there's minimal environment difference. I have reusable bags but tend to forget them now I have the logistics of DC to carry, and escort to the shop. I also decline bags where they are unnecessary and I can manage without.

Smo2 Thu 29-May-14 07:51:48

We have this in wales, we've just got used to it, and now everyone takes bags to the supermarket instead..I don't miss the enormous collection of plastic bags I used to hoard!

HercShipwright Thu 29-May-14 07:54:05

It pisses me off that you have to pay for a plastic bag at m&S and the bags advertise m&S fresh fish! I'm a vegan. I don't want to be carrying a bag advertising fish. I especially don't want to pay for the privilege. I don't mind paying for a bag but they should be logo (and advert) free.

HappyAgainOneDay Thu 29-May-14 07:54:33

a. Why should we pay to advertise the shop we've been to? They should pay us for advertising them!

b. I'm collecting them while they are still free because they are so useful as other posters have said. I use them for rubbish from each room.

c. As for lining the kitchen bin with them, I use charity bags for that so even they are not wasted.

d. I store different things in them and keep them in the garage, suitably labelled.

OwlCapone Thu 29-May-14 07:57:54

Owl I am complaining because overall I will not be using any less plastic bags than I currently do but I will be paying more.

The new laws aren't based solely on your behaviour though are they?

OwlCapone Thu 29-May-14 08:01:35

things that have touched raw meat should be disposed of, never reused

Or washed, That is always an option. do you throw away your knives and chopping boards?

RubySparks Thu 29-May-14 08:02:55

I agree with the poster who litter picks, plastic rubbish is a massive problem, much of it it is plastic bags and other plastic packaging, especially crisp packets which last for years. It is unsightly and dangerous to wildlife.

Booboostoo Thu 29-May-14 08:04:31

It's like this in France so I tend to go around with reusable bags which is not a hassle at all and great for the environment...but I also buy loads of small bags I would not have bought before to use in the toilet bin, to put the odd diaper in, to pick up dog poo, etc. Sadly I don't think it makes any difference overall.

Waffleyversatile Thu 29-May-14 08:06:06

We have had this in N Ireland for a couple of years now. I have no problem brining my own bags for Tesco when i do the shopping and in fact find it easier to use the big bag for life bags that I bought.

What does annoy me is paying for paper bags in clothes shops. When i go clothes shopping i try to bring my own bags but when I'm having a splurge I inevitably have to buy bags.

Winterwardrobetime Thu 29-May-14 08:10:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Winterwardrobetime Thu 29-May-14 08:10:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Munchmallow Thu 29-May-14 08:12:28

What about buying clothes? Will we be expected to either pay for a bag or put new clothes into a re-used bag for life?

I re-use plastic carrier bags for all sorts of things, they're invaluable for disposing of anything icky.

Munchmallow Thu 29-May-14 08:13:48

Oh, x post.

DragonMamma Thu 29-May-14 08:16:58

I spent 1500 on my wedding dress and veil and they still charged me 5p for a big paper bag to take my veil home in. That was the only time it pissed me off.

captainmummy Thu 29-May-14 08:17:36

This has come and go over the years - one supermarket will charge, then stop as no-one else is...
I hate the way shop-packers pack my stuff - one pack of 4-toilet rolls, into a bag. On its own, then chucked in the trolley. Surely it doesn't need any more plastic round it?
Re raw meat - I've been using the same 'Bag for Life's for years, and never got food poisoning. Never even thought about it! Everything is usually wrapped in plastic anyway - it's not like I put unwrapped meat straight into the bag.

I've got a yellow cotton bag which folds down into a banana-shape; fits in my handbag!

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 29-May-14 08:18:44

Although I can see your also ing, I think it's flawed, and YAbu
Most bins dont "fit" carriers.
If we pay for bags well use fewer of them and make efforts to take reusables to the supermarket.
I often shop in Lidl where they charge for bags and I'm conscious to take my own bags that I re-use.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 29-May-14 08:19:50

also ing?
Sorry, thinking.

MaryWestmacott Thu 29-May-14 08:20:12

See, round here, bin men will only take black bun bags, so we end up with a big kitchen bin lined with a bin bag, then lots of plastic carrier bags in the small bins, which then go in the big bag, and I take out that big bag daily. I reckon we could just get in the habit of putting everything in the kitchen bin and tying up the black bags when they aren't 100% full.

I have a lot of friends who don't have kitchen bins though, they just have a carrier bag wrapped on the door handle and go out to the main bin regularly. There's going to be a lot of big bin purchasing...

starlight1234 Thu 29-May-14 08:23:38

I think the evidence where it has been brought in shows how the reduce of plastic bags has come in. Would be interested to see how bin limner sales have gone up.

I do use my bags as bin limners by the way.

Can I ask those in NI and Wales. What happens with supermarket deliveries as they seem to use extraordinary amounts of carriers

ouryve Thu 29-May-14 08:26:03

M&S hve charged for carrier bags for years and it hasn't stopped me from shopping there. I usually go with a stash of turtle bags and bags for life, though their 5p bags are pretty robust, too.

I still use the sainsburys bags as bin bags and for carrying spare shoes in for the boys, when they walk to school in their wellies.

chemenger Thu 29-May-14 08:26:46

I don't understand this bin bag argument for two reasons. Firstly the bags have holes in the - bin liners don't because stuff oozes. Secondly if you buy all your food in carrier bags then eat the food and dispose of the packaging and leftovers you must end up with spare bags - because a lot of what you have bought is digested and disposed of in other ways (I sincerely hope you don't use plastic bags that!).

The story about plastic bags being made out of waste gas is frankly nonsense. Plastic bags are made out of ethylene, which is made of the gas coming from oil wells. In the Uk we put a lot of effort into bringing this gas onshore and processing it, it is in short supply which is why gas imports from US fracking will be needed to keep our petrochemical industry going. It is decades since gas was routinely flared in the North sea to dispose of it.

DragonMamma Thu 29-May-14 08:30:04

starlight they didn't charge for bags used for supermarket home delivery for some reason but recently they've started adding a charge if you choose to have them delivered with bags. I'm not sure how it's worked out but I think it's calculated based on how much you've spent rather than how many bags they actually use.

QuintessentiallyQS Thu 29-May-14 08:32:51

Maybe the charge will make shopping in M&S more pleasant. I hate going there if I have forgotten my "for life" bags at home.

The check out assistant will see my mountain of shopping, and take out ONE bag from under the tills. I fill it. They look at me, and wait for me to ask for one more. Then they go "oh, you need one more do you" Then they sigh melodramatically. This goes on until I have filled 6-7 shopping bags, and by the time I get to pay I am feeling really irritated. It is so unnecessary. It is only in Marks & Spencer I have encountered this attitude.. I really dont see the need in bullying your customers over carrier bags. It is like "ner ner, i have something you want, I control the bags, ner ner, you cant have any unless you plead with me" angry

And even when I have tried to counter act this by saying "I forgot my "for life" bags, they STILL keep trying to restrict bags giving me one at the time, and sighing each time they reach under the tills for some.

I am shopping in M&S as little as possible, and more in Waitrose, simply because they have this silly controlling attitude over bags.

libertytrainers Thu 29-May-14 08:37:48

i use fabric bags when shopping but still buy bin bags. if i don't tie them up properly they stink and attract flies in the summer especially, tons of flies in the house ain't healthy so i will continue to use bin bags. i wish the council would collect weekly in the summer.

The tesco delivery driver told me their bio degradable bags turn to confetti in 6 months. So I don't keep them now. After a shower of bag confetti I am wary of them.

I give all my plastic bags to my DF. Who knows what he gets up to with them, he goes through loads and keeps asking for more.

Bankwadgery Thu 29-May-14 09:04:00

I think a really important point is being missed here and that is the effect on the environment of all the plastic bags and plastic waste in general. There is a well documented huge 'island' in the Pacific Ocean, info about it can be found here-
I have been using my own bags for supermarket shopping for years as I want to reduce my impact on contributing to the ever growing plastic waste mountain, it doesn't go away, it ends up in food chains and harming lots of wildlife.
Charging for plastic bags will reduce their usage and that can on,y be a good thing, if it means it costs me a bit of money then thatis preferable to the alternative.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 29-May-14 09:08:18

If you use a carrier bag to line a bin it is likely to leak.
Also, it only gets used twice, maximum.
If you use a reusable shopping bag it will be used dozens of times. So even with the purchase of.binliners the use of disposable plastic is reduced.
They'll need to improve the quality though. Lidl bags and m&s bags are super. But sainsbury and tesco are too flimsy for any kind of reusing.

My compromise position is that when we go to the supermarket we use bags for life. Our veggies are from a veggie box or the garden so I only have the occasional paper bag. Meat is from a farm shop which uses minimal packaging.

I do accept bags from clothes shopping and sometimes a shop will use one even if I say no thanks or it will be pouring and I haven't got my rucksack. Those bags go into lining my bin. Some how we have the perfect balance. Oozier things go into bread bags or other food packaging first.

If we had weekly bin collections then maybe rubbish wouldn't need to be wrapped so well?

But Amanda surely the bin bags only get used once?

Theas18 Thu 29-May-14 09:29:00


Having holidays on the continent/ shopping at aldi you realise taking your own bags is easier. They are bigger and stronger. Less hassle actually.

We don't actually use small bin liner - shock horror but umm wash the bins if they are manky!

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 29-May-14 09:29:26

In my house we have bins with liners and bins without.
The liner bins are those posh ones, can't remember the name but carriers don't fit. They're used for mucky rubbish.
The non liner ones are more for dry waste IYSWIM. Before I got into reducing my plastic shit I would line the smaller bins with carriers. Now I use reusable bags I don't do that. It's not necessary. Sooverall the throwing away of plastic is reduced.

Nocomet Thu 29-May-14 09:29:54

We reuse them to wrap homemade bread and then stick rubbish in them.

I take reusable bags most of the time and just get carriers when the draw is getting empty.

Damnautocorrect Thu 29-May-14 09:35:59

I remember when this came out in Ireland and plastic consumption went up massively as people had to buy bags for stuff instead of use the carrier bags. I don't know if that's levelled out now it's been running a while. Whilst I think its a good thing, it will be a pain when you unexpectedly stop somewhere and pick something up.

beccajoh Thu 29-May-14 09:42:04

Put food scraps in the compost or food waste bin (if your council has this service), recycling rinsed and put in the recycling bin. Non recycling gets rinsed and put in the non recycling bin. This latter category shouldn't actually be a huge amount unless you have a shite council that doesn't do much recycling. There doesn't need to be a huge amount of oozy, stinky stuff in your bin. We don't use bin liners. Bin gets emptied into the wheelie bin every 2-3 days. Quick squirt of bleach and rinse out into the drain outside (takes 2 mins) to stop any nasty whiffs. Job done.

Might not work for everyone of course - quite specific to our situ and bin collections - but works for us, and no need to use separate bin liners. We do get carrier bags sometimes, but not routinely. We don't need them.

Hoofdegebouw Thu 29-May-14 09:47:36

Yabu. Usage has gone down 80% in Wales and NI. English supermarkets give out 7billion bags a year - all if which will take at least 500 years to decompose. (Possibly never in a landfill site - even the biodegradable ones)
All the plastic ever made is still hanging around the planet somewhere unless its been burned. The oceans are full of it, as litter it's harmful to wildlife. Is our shopping convenience really that important?

Notso Thu 29-May-14 09:50:03

I never use carrier bags as bin bags, I use bin bags in my big bin and my bathroom bins have those removable buckets that I wash after emptying.

It baffles me that people think using carrier bin liners is a fantastic money saving, environmentally friendly thing to do.

I live in Wales and you just get used to taking reusable bags, or in DH's case you never have a bag, won't pay for a bag and wander round with great armfuls of shopping brandishing a receipt between your teeth so nobody suspects you are stealing anything.

Didactylos Thu 29-May-14 09:57:16

Its a bit of a distraction though - since the waste produced by disposable bags (often reused by the individual) pales in comparison with the plastics, card from our current food packaging from supermarkets

perhaps we should tackle that culture?

StarDustInTheWind Thu 29-May-14 10:00:48

yy becca... we don't have "oozy" rubbish in our bin either - so a crappy tesco carrier works really well as a liner - and they disintegrate in 6 months too...

We do have a waste food caddy collection weekly so have no food waste in the bin... and glass/tins/paper/card are collected.... and our local recycling centre takes oil/plastic packaging/foil/textiles and tetra paks too.. not much actual rubbish to go in the bin any more, so won't need as many free plastic bags.... thankfully

JodieGarberJacob Thu 29-May-14 10:03:15

Was just coming on to say that as well. Plastic packaging is dreadful! The packaged fruit and veg in a supermarket makes my eyes water.

Regarding fresh meat, supermarkets used to pack your fresh meat into thin white plastic bags a few years ago incase of contamination. I wonder when they stopped that?

specialsubject Thu 29-May-14 10:09:09

looks like some people here need some basic life lessons in some not very difficult things.

clothes shopping; take a cloth bag, a suit carrier if you are buying something big or a rucksack that you don't use for food. Put clothes in that. Clothing shopping should be rare anyway except for growing kids; and their clothes can be folded in a shopping bag.

food shopping; take bags with you, either cloth bags or 'bags for life'. Only meat needs wrapping and it comes in wrappings. Fruit and veg should be bought loose if at all possible.

reduce the number of bins in your house. A small one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen is enough, plus a food scraps bin (peelings and teabags only, otherwise you are wasting food) and a place for recycling which is where paper goes. So that's the kitchen bin liner, the bathroom bin liner and that's it.

doesn't seem that difficult to me. Which is probably why my landfill bin is under half-full each fortnight at most.

in short - BUY LESS. USE LESS.

oh, and if you have dog excrement to dispose of, you can afford the dog so you can afford the bags. And do take them home rather than tying them to a tree, eh?

Hoofdegebouw Thu 29-May-14 10:09:54

I don't think it's a distraction - it's part of a wider problem, yes, but not being able to solve every part of it at once doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything surely? An 80% reduction here would mean 5.6 billion fewer carrier bags a year - that's a lot of plastic.
Card is recyclable, as is a lot of the plastic packaging from food - still better not to have it all, but there are industry agreements to try and reduce packaging and "lightweight" it - things like all the concentrated washing liquids and squashes now - half the number of bottles for the same end product. Sadly these agreements are still voluntary, they should be compulsory IMO.

specialsubject Thu 29-May-14 10:11:25

I have proved that some plastic bags will disintegrate after 8 years - wrong choice of wrapping for storage...

it is still waste, though.

"It pisses me off that you have to pay for a plastic bag at m&S and the bags advertise m&S fresh fish! I'm a vegan. I don't want to be carrying a bag advertising fish. I especially don't want to pay for the privilege. I don't mind paying for a bag but they should be logo (and advert) free."

1. You don't have to pay for a plastic bag, you can take your own. The 5p charge was introduced six years ago to encourage customers to do just that.

2. It doesn't advertise fresh fish, it 'advertises' (informs) you that "all of the profit from your 5p contribution helps to protect and save our precious sea life, oceans and beaches". Also, that the 1.5p profit is split 40% to WWF-UK, 40% to the Marine Conservation Society and the remainder supporting education projects to protect marine environments.

Hoofdegebouw Thu 29-May-14 10:18:44

They do disintegrate - but into tiny pieces that don't biodegrade, but hang around - that's what they find in the guts of fish, the seas are full of micro particles of plastic that are probably making their way up the food chain.

Have also had the carrier bag confetti explosion, I though I had mice!

PeppermintInfusion Thu 29-May-14 10:19:37

For the PP that said about raw meat, you generally still get free smaller bags when you buy something that might leak or hot food etc.

I tend to keep a plastic bag inside my bag for life anyway in case i end up with clothes, makeup, food etc in one bag

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 29-May-14 10:20:48

I used to have a fight regularly in M & S when they tried to charge me 5p for a carrier bag in the food department, then insisted I had to have a carrier bag, free, large, thick plastic, for a £3 T-shirt, to show I hadn't shop-lifted it. Problem solved: I don't shop in M & S any more, (in common with a lot of people, I think).
More seriously, I wish the Govt. would do something about the long swathes of plastic that have blown off lorries and are wrapped around trees and hedges at the roadside; far more environmentally dangerous.

We don't have a food scrap collection system and cooked food shouldn't go on the compost heap so some (not very much) food has to go into our bin. With a fortnightly bin collection it really does need to be wrapped. I might consider experimenting with just wrapping the food waste and seeing what happens.

StarDustInTheWind Thu 29-May-14 10:27:02

All of the arguments for and against ALL of the different types of bags are given in this study - it is not as simple as getting rid of 75% of cheap plastic bags will "save the environment" - these other bags have a great environmental cost and removal of freebie plastic bags (and subsequent decrease in their predominant recycling as bin bags DOES have a huge environmental impact too...)

StarDustInTheWind Thu 29-May-14 10:32:24

an example from the report - the way I personally use carriers as bin bags and reuse them for shopping would require ME personally, to use a cotton bag 327 to 393 times before the environmental impact was equal..

ppeatfruit Thu 29-May-14 10:32:45

duckworth can't the plastic bags be washed? Raw meat from spmkts is usually in a plastic container with cling film or a plastic top, all of which can be recycled.

Hoofdegebouw Thu 29-May-14 10:36:52

Have read that report before - and it does negate the "recyclable paper bags are better" argument, but not the others. A good quality bag for life (like a thick aldi carrier) only has to be used a few times to make it better in terms of carbon than a disposable one. Cotton a lot more, but I have cotton bags that are years old, they last for ever. Interestingly the organisations involved in the report are the same ones pushing for the ban (like WRAP) so I wonder if there is a follow-up to this somewhere showing that a charge encourages a certain amount of reuse that makes it worthwhile?

Notso Thu 29-May-14 10:39:54

There is a woman who lives near me who takes loads of Tupperware containers to the supermarket. After paying for her shopping she unwraps and decants everything that can be into the containers and gives all the packaging back to the customer service assistant to dispose of.
She hopes that by making the packaging their problem they will hopefully do something to reduce it.

Maryz Thu 29-May-14 10:43:22

Charging has solved much of the litter problem in Ireland - they used to festoon the countryside.

Therefore I'm in favour. I don't think 5p is enough, though; it's up to 22c here now.

softlysoftly Thu 29-May-14 10:56:07

Oh it's the same as any new law loads of whining at first then everyone gets used to it.

I'm in Wales and either take reusables or buy bags and they get used for my small room bins. Hasn't increased my purchase of binliners at all.

I did wonder where the money went glad it's a charity.

BelleateSebastian Thu 29-May-14 10:56:12

We went to McDonalds sorry MN in Wales last week and had to pay 5p for a paper bag (that only fitted half the food in), now that, is taking liberties! did they expect me to Juggle my assortment of grease ridden food onto the back seat! when I wrote and complained (in a very Disgusted on Tunbridge wells was) the told me it was because of the environment .... fuckers!

Maryz Thu 29-May-14 11:05:35

We get paper bags free for the likes of McDonalds and for clothes/non food items.

It's only the plastic ones that are charged here - I must say I wish they would get rid of all the excess plastic packaging while they are at it.

Hoofdegebouw Thu 29-May-14 11:15:44

Some info on what's happened in Wales - swing bin liner sales have gone up, but by a v small amount compared to reduction in bags. No rise in black bag sales. Impact of people buying new bags for life has offset some of the material savings, but only about a quarter. Generally good news!

Smilesandpiles Thu 29-May-14 11:38:33

What's going to happen about the carrier bags for online shopping then?

Are we going to get charged per bag then (even when they insist on using 1 bag per fecking item) at the last second, or will everything be delivered loose in the crates and emptied out onto your hallway floor?

ppeatfruit Thu 29-May-14 11:43:00

Well Belleate It's certainly surprising that Mcdonalds cares more for the environment than it does for the health of its customers grin

Hoofdegebouw Thu 29-May-14 11:45:35

You can get shopping delivered without bags, the delivery man carries the crates into the kitchen and you unload the shopping onto the worktop. You get extra club card points for doing it.

ppeatfruit Thu 29-May-14 11:46:21

Smilesand The online shopping could be delivered in reusable bags which would be collected by the delivery companies the next time they deliver. ad infinitum IFYSWIM

Maryz Thu 29-May-14 11:54:58

Our online shopping is delivered in crates, smiles.

We unload crate one while they bring in crate 2 etc.

Maryz Thu 29-May-14 11:55:13

You can choose to have bags and pay for them.

chesterberry Thu 29-May-14 11:55:38

*What's going to happen about the carrier bags for online shopping then?

Are we going to get charged per bag then (even when they insist on using 1 bag per fecking item) at the last second, or will everything be delivered loose in the crates and emptied out onto your hallway floor?*

With Tesco when it comes to check-out you can choose whether you want to have your shopping delivered in bags or not. I haven't ever chosen yes but assume if you do you will get charged. If you choose no then everything is loose in the crates. Depending on your delivery driver they might bring the crates into your kitchen and help you unpack onto your table/counters, might dump the crates on your doorstep and help you unpack onto your hallway or might just dump the crates on your doorstep and leave you to unpack everything onto your hallway whilst they go and 'check something in the van.'

Luckily I mostly encounter the first type of delivery driver who is happy to carry crates through to the kitchen and help unpack onto the table which is really helpful but do occasionally get the other types.

Notso Thu 29-May-14 11:57:21

Why didn't you just ask for another 5p bag BelleateSebastian?
Fries can come in free bags as they are unwrapped food.

With online shopping you can get no bags, I just carry each crate in unload it onto the dining room table then take it back and get the next one, or you choose bags and they usually charge you about 20p.

StarDustInTheWind Thu 29-May-14 11:58:12

Ours is delivered in bags, they take the ones from last time back for recycling if you want them to. We reuse some of ours and return the rest.

Notso Thu 29-May-14 11:59:49

I always get the last type chester envy

squoosh Thu 29-May-14 12:00:06

I'm in favour.

As has already been mentioned it's been in place in Ireland for over a decade now and plastic bag consumption has dropped by 90%.

It works.

Maryz Thu 29-May-14 12:06:23

Here are some figures from Ireland:

"It had an immediate effect on consumer behaviour with a decrease in plastic bag usage from an estimated 328 bags per capita to 21 bags per capita overnight"

I calculate that as over 300 bags per person per year reduction. With 4 million people in Ireland, that's a saving of 1.2 billion bags a year.

Wow shock

In Ireland it was primarily done to solve a litter problem, so a (small) increase in bin liners or a corresponding increase in manufacture of reusable bags is irrelevant.

captainmummy Thu 29-May-14 12:36:05

Re online-delivery - my kitchen is at the back of the house; you have to walk through Hall and Sitting room to get to it. I don't want some random delivery driver in my house. If I online-shop (and i haven't, for years) I'd like to select 'no bags' but would then have to unload everything into the Hall.

daisychain01 Thu 29-May-14 12:37:57

After paying for her shopping she unwraps and decants everything that can be into the containers and gives all the packaging back to the customer service assistant to dispose of
She hopes that by making the packaging their problem they will hopefully do something to reduce it

I vote for MN choosing 1 day in 2014 as a Day of Action against unnecessary food packaging and all of us do the above, just like that brilliant lady did!! I would probably help the poor checkout person by putting it into a bag... Oh dear .... That probably defeats the object :-)

Supermarkets need to work closely with the food manufacturers to agree reductions in packaging. That is as important as carrier bags

I live on the border between England and Wales - it is all about changing people's behaviour. I was the world's worst at taking loads of bags to use as bin liners. Now they are 5p, I use bags for life, even in English supermarkets. We just got used to not taking the free bags anymore.

Wales has an excellent coloured bag system for recycling, you can put so much in them, paper, cardboard, tins, bottles foil trays. Why arent these recycling schemes harmonised across every UK council, far too much variability. Compost heap gets all the organic matter, and we wrap small scraps of waste meat fish in newspaper to keep the bin fresher. We use much fewer binbags, about 1 per day as we got a tall Brabantia bin which means we dont keep filling the piddly little Tesco carriers 3 times a day.

I also live in Wales, and most people have got into the habit of taking bags out shopping with them. I always have a little fold up one in my handbag, and a pile of jute ones in my car.
Please remember the reason for the bag levy: it's an environmental issue. Plastic pollution is an increasingly serious problem, and plastic bags are also a practical hazard to wildlife. Many countries have banned them altogether, and lots of US cities are now doing so also. I think we should do so too, and I'd really love for manufacturers to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use, too. Maybe inconvenient, but hey, we'll survive!

I second that, Daisychain01

squoosh Thu 29-May-14 12:59:46

After a month you don't give a second thought to reaching for the jute bags before heading to the shops. It's like the smoking ban, after a while it just becomes second nature.

treaclesoda Thu 29-May-14 13:08:13

Someone asked about supermarket deliveries.

I used to do my online shop with Sainsburys but when the carrier bag charge was brought in I switched to Tesco because they give you the option of opting out of bags, whereas Sainsburys insisted on delivering in bags and then you have to pay for them.

The difference in littering is phenomenal, you no longer see plastic bags stuck in every hedge, it's great.

Hoofdegebouw Thu 29-May-14 13:08:38

It's amazing what a financial incentive can do - its about a £15 a year saving per person, but its enough to shift behaviour and once people start to do things differently and realise its fine, they carry on.
In some parts of Germany, rubbish collection is charged completely separately to the equivalent of council tax, and varies according to how much you throw away. So the bigger your bin the more you pay. Imagine what that could do for recycling rates grin

squoosh Thu 29-May-14 13:13:57

They weigh your bins in Ireland too, makes people MUCH better at recycling.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 29-May-14 13:52:08

How do you ensure that other people don't put their rubbish in your bin so that you would have to pay for it? That's what I would worry about, here, in England.

I think England's way behind other countries in recycling. I lived in Germany in the 80s and they were already recycling loads. Also, they did this really cool thing where every 3 months everyone could put their big rubbish that they didn't want, onto the street and other people could walk around and take whatever they wanted. There was no shame in it. It worked really well. I got a couple of chairs that way and some other stuff.

Andrewofgg Thu 29-May-14 14:11:05

I used to have a neighbour who insisted that as DW and I are alone (DS moved out) we did not need a full bin's space and that she could and would put her excess bags (three DCs) in our bin! She backed off but if the excess was costing her money . . .

Maryz Thu 29-May-14 14:23:50

They are starting to sell wheelie bin locks here, because it is a problem in some places.

We have halved our bin charges since they started charging by lift. We (a family of five, including three teenagers) put a wheelie bin out about every six to eight weeks. Everything else is recycled.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 29-May-14 14:36:28

Oh, thanks, Maryz. That's kind of what I assumed might happen.

I know they have this kind of paying for waste in Belgium, but I don't know how it happens there or whether people are just more honest smile.

2kidsintow Thu 29-May-14 14:36:37

I'm from Wales and am currently holidaying in England. I found myself going shock at the shop recently when I asked for a bag and was handed about ten.

I must be conditioned to using fewer bags due to the tax, even when I do end up paying for them. Not a bad thing, surely.

Maryz Thu 29-May-14 14:43:34

The way it works for us, JudgeJudy, isn't actually weight (it varies by area) - we pay a standing charge and then a set amount per lift. So everyone only puts very full bins out (you have to be able to close the lid, but the rubbish is pretty packed down grin).

So people keep their bins hidden/locked until they are full, then put them out.

In the weigh areas it must be more of a problem, but again most people only put them out when they are full, thus avoiding the problem.

BumpNGrind Thu 29-May-14 15:07:29

I was a sceptic when it was introduced in Wales but it does really work. I've probably donated about �1.50 to charity as a result of forgetting bags but I don't begrudge it because it's for charity and shops are usually transparent about which one they support.

We get bin liners from the council and I buy black bags, the black bag recycling goes out every fortnight and I rarely send a full bag because so much can get recycled now. I've seen a dramatic drop in plastic bag litter and littering overall seems to have dropped (probably because litter picking charities get more money).

The only difference I think is noticeable is that the supermarket baskets are now tagged because so many of them get stolen.

I do miss going on a clothes shopping spree and coming back laden with bags but if that's the only sacrifice, I'm pretty fine about it.

"...I still use them as liners but empty the contents into a refuse sack so they stay in the bin until they get really manky and I begrudgingly use another. Top tip: I use the toilet roll plastic packaging as a liner for the bathroom bin..."

That's pretty much what I do cheapbread, although I only use the large loo roll bags as bins (hung over the kitchen door handle) rather than carrier bags. All smelly (but non-recyclable) waste goes straight in the council black bags, and the non smelly stuff is emptied into it when the loo roll bag is full. Got a little pedal bin in the bathroom, but all I do with that is tip the contents out into the black bag rather than keep changing the liner.

I'm all for cutting back on the use of plastic bags and if charging for supermarket carrier bags is one way of doing it then good.

ICanSeeTheSun Thu 29-May-14 21:23:12

I went to England recently and felt like I was stealing when I walked out without paying for a bag.

PipkinsPal Thu 29-May-14 21:28:36

I'm in Wales too and have no problem with using my own bags for shopping. I've only bought a bag when I've got over enthusiastic buying clothes in Matalan. I use the charity bags I receive through the letterbox as bin liners. I get at least 2 a week which keeps me in liners for a while. I know they have holes in them but my bin only holds stuff that the Council doesn't have a recycling bag/bin for.

revealall Thu 29-May-14 22:20:31

I need all the carrier bags I can for dog poo. I hate the thin small bags...I grab the poo in the plastic not turn it inside out so the holes are irrelevant.
I use 4 a day but luckily there always seem to be a few blowing around which I pick up.
I do realise the country's policy on bags can't be decided on my need alone but I am concerned.

GreenShadow Thu 29-May-14 22:22:11

Sorry OP, but UABU.
Not everyone uses plastic bags as bin liners - we don't because we don't have many plastic bags in the house. I have always reused bags since the I left home in 1980. My mum reused plastic bags in the 70s. It is just habit.
The sooner they introduce a charge the better.

bidibidi Thu 29-May-14 22:25:33

We almost never get a bag from any shop. DH sometimes uses carriers as bin liners; we never use them if up to me. They come to us from all sorts of places but rarely from our own shopping. Don't need them for anything else, either. We have so many suitable waste bags from other purposes filling out drawers & still toss out loads of plastic bags.

daisychain01 Thu 29-May-14 23:13:33

The other thing Ive noticed is that the culture in Welsh shops is relaxed about people walking out with a few items held in their hand if you don't want a bag. You don't get looked up and down like a shop lifter, it's just accepted that's how people shop. Just keep hold of your receipt, job's a good'un.

Especially blokes, let's face it, they don't walk round with a neat little bag for life folded up in their trouser pocket now do they grin

RubySparks Thu 29-May-14 23:30:55

Looks like Scotland voted to start charging for plastic bags from October -

There is a statistic in the article that estimates Scotland uses 750 million bags per year!

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