Since the new charging policy was introduced in October last year, I have definitely learned to keep a closer eye on my carrier bags.
Not that I am saying this is a bad thing at all. It may have seemed slightly annoying at first, but now I have got into the habit of carrying a few bags around in my car boot, I am converted to this new scheme.
It has totally changed the way I treat bags – I never throw them away any more unless they have a hole in or are completely filthy inside. In fact, being really organised, I have started having sets of bags for different purposes – ie bags for carrying muddy shoes in etc.
So, in my opinion, the system has worked in terms of helping the environment, as making us think a bit more about what else we throw away that could be reused.
The money charged for bags isn’t too offensive – usually just 5p – and of course most shops give it to charity. So if, like me you try to help charitable causes when you can, this charge isn’t anything to get too upset about.
The Government explains why the charging was brought in: “In 2014 over 7.6 billion single-use plastic bags were given to customers by major supermarkets in England. That’s something like 140 bags per person, the equivalent of about 61,000 tonnes in total.
“They take longer than other bags to degrade in the environment, can damage wildlife, and are extremely visible when littered in our towns, parks and the countryside.
“Retailers need to keep track of how many plastic bags they’ve given out and where the proceeds have gone … and report this to Government by 31 May every year. We expect good causes to benefit from the charge by tens of millions of pounds each year.”