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Plastic Bag Charges - Not exactly headline news

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


OneFootInTheGrave Report 14 Sep 2013 09:36

In today's headlines one of the main items being covered is the news, is that a plastic bag charge is to be introduced in England, there is already a charge in Wales and Northern Ireland and one is being introduced in Scotland next year.

Although I support such a charge, I do think that there are more important issues both in this country and in the world as a whole - that have greater priority than the issue of plastic bags.

It appears to be Nick Clegg's baby, and I am sure it is just a coincidence this announcement hit the headlines just as the Liberal Democrats annual party conference is starting ;-)

Do you agree with this charge and do you think the timing of the announcement was politically motivated?

Plastic bag charge to be introduced in England

Woman with shopping bags The charge in England will come into effect after the 2015 general election

A 5p charge for plastic bags in England is to be introduced by the government in a bid to discourage their use.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to unveil the plans at the Liberal Democrat party conference this weekend.

Ministers are said to be concerned at the environmental impact of the bags, particularly on waterborne animals.

The charge, which will only apply to supermarkets and larger stores, will begin after the 2015 election, with the proceeds going to charities.

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 14 Sep 2013 09:44

If you go into a clothes shop why should you pay for them to bag the goods. Surely you can't be expected to put new clothes into a shopping bag


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 14 Sep 2013 09:48

My thoughts exactly Shirley.

Although we take our own bags out for a food shop, I wouldn't be happy putting new clothes in one with (say) potato dirt in the bottom.

This aspect has been raised - the government are thinking about it.
How are the GR members living in Wales coping?

And another thing - people who food shop on line don't have a choice to use their own bags. The depot packers don't seem to fill them as it is!

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 14 Sep 2013 09:50

Big deal?.
We get on with it very well in Wales.
We have been spoilt with having plastic over the last number of years.
I have a little fold up bag that I take in my handbag and if going for a bigger shop take other reusable bags.
Of course Im of the generation who used to take a bag or basket to go shopping.
Im in favour of it as the hazard of people ,say,leaving plastic bags on the beach or out in the streets,is attracting vermin.
I don't understand what Ive just heard that reducing plastic bags has been causing ecoli in the States.
I agree that it shouldn't merit reaching the headlines and listening to BBC breakfast get fed up hearing about it.
There could be a political motive ,but it isn't a tax and its not going to create poverty.

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 14 Sep 2013 09:57

We do take our own bags for the supermarket shop

I always had shopping bags for shopping pre plastic bags and continued to use them for grocery shopping .always had too a bag for vegetables .

I would object though to being charged for a bag that gives free advertising for a shop ie M&S etc


Jonesey Report 14 Sep 2013 09:57

So the good old Lib Dems are about to save the planet once again are they.

Is there no limit to their abilities?

Perhaps they should consider becoming a political party. ;-)


maggiewinchester Report 14 Sep 2013 09:58

Smiths already charge for bags.
Quite often I do a big shop on spec - friend & I go out, and happen to pass a supermarket on the way home - I'll go and in buy (usually) a ton of cat food. I'll buy a 'bag for life' for a lot of it, but if I had to pay for the flimsy free bags, they'd lose my custom on that occasion.
Oh - and I have loads of 'bags for life' at home, so it's not really a case of using less where I'm concerned.


JustJohn Report 14 Sep 2013 10:03

We have paid for carrier bags for quite a long time now, as Brenda says. Most people go into shops and supermarkets armed with their old carrier bags. The sensible ones seem to buy these bags for life which cost about 50p and are very hard-wearing.

I am unconvinced by the arguments put forward by our First Minister for Wales (Carwyn Jones) about the merits of paying 5p for each flimsy bag. I don't personally believe it has been an overall success or will ever be. Many seem to ask for, say, four bags and that 20p just gets added to their bill. And I am sure shops dislike all the bureaucracy that comes with recording how many bags have been bought and acounting to tax man for revenues.


~`*`Jude`*`~ Report 14 Sep 2013 10:16

A good idea me thinks, plastic bags are a pain in the bum, and horrendous re landfill. Some can be rycyled. So many left in fields for animals to eat, along the river banks etc for bird to get tangled in, unfortunately that will always be a problem along with any other rubbish people leave behind.
l try to have a couple in my bag, sometimes l forget though.



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 14 Sep 2013 10:19

I usually carry a cloth bag just in case, but it's only big enough for small purchases like papers or a couple of tins.

Its the clothes shopping that concerns me.

(NB - it advertises Ancestry :-D )

We had to pay for a plastic bag at the NT when we bought some of their biscuits. The cloth bag hadn't been transfered to my yomping little rucksack :-0


AnnCardiff Report 14 Sep 2013 10:22

we are so used to it here in Wales - it's no problem whatsoever

cannot understand why England has to wait until the year after next - why not now?

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 14 Sep 2013 10:26

I don't mind paying the odd 5p when I buy clothes,but as I am not buying clothes all the time it hardly makes a difference.
It's the food shopping that uses so many bags.
I also have a little string bag that Ive had for years and it stretches and hardly takes any room to carry.
How ever did we manage before plastic?.


JustJohn Report 14 Sep 2013 10:34

Brenda. Didn't we used to have bikes with a shopping basket on the front and a saddle bag on back. Most women did not go out to work then, and shopping seemed to be a daily activity. If no bike, you would see people going to the shops with a wicker basket or a large string or cloth shopping bag.

We used to order our groceries and meat on the phone in 1950's and Mr Thomas the grocer and Mr Coley the butcher would drive round each week and deliver our shopping in cardboard boxes. Prototype for Waitrose home deliveries :-D


supercrutch Report 14 Sep 2013 11:07

Living in Wales I am used to it. We go prepared with our own bags as we don't like to advertise food shops for free by using their bags unless we are desperate.

If you have visited a landfill or a recycling centre the shock of plastic blowing around is truly a game changer. My daughter can quote every fine issued to landfill sites in Wales for mismanagement. These fines are paid by your local County Councils and are reflected in your Council Tax Bills and run to many millions of pounds.

5p for a new bag for clothing is nothing! The rest of the UK should implement this in 2013 not defer it for a couple of years.


SheilaWestWilts Report 14 Sep 2013 11:13

I was given a strong paper carrier when I bought something in a clothes shop recently - maybe more stores will adopt this.


Mauatthecoast Report 14 Sep 2013 11:19

Well I think it's a good idea and I welcome it.
Plastic bags have long been known to have a bad impact on the environment. Don't think it's a hardship to carry small cloth bags or use bags for life, which have less of an impact on nature.

From what I've heard on this morning's news, large stores will still give big bags to customers for clothes and bigger goods.


kandj Report 14 Sep 2013 11:20

I am a golden oldie and can remember the brown paper carrier bag with strong string handles which lasted a long time. I take a shopping bag and wouldn't be happy to pay for a plastic carrier bag to advertise the supermarket s that I use.
It is shocking to see on TV the damage that the plastic bags do to our environment, so I wonder why England are so slow in sorting this problem out?


AnnCardiff Report 14 Sep 2013 11:21

M & S don't give us bags for anything - never mind how small or how large - and neither does anyone else


Island Report 14 Sep 2013 11:41

How does charging for plastc bags stop irresposible disposal of them?

Just don't provide them, full stop. Shoppers managed perfectly well without them before they were supplied.

I'm amazed by the number of plastic shopping bags that online supermarkets use for deliveries - doubtless there will be some H&S and economic reason :-|


OneFootInTheGrave Report 14 Sep 2013 12:57

I think it is an excellent idea, I got fed up with them splitting, so bought a couple of good strong canvas shopping bags from Tesco.

I have a Waitrose about 200 yards from where I live, we are surrounded by green open spaces, a lot of people buy snack from the Waitrose and take the snack out of the plastic bag and throw it away, the hedges and bushes on the green open spaces are covered in them - not very pretty:-(