Plastic Bags for Life ...

Discussion on living for a better and more responsible future
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lancashire lass
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Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by lancashire lass »

... seem to have simply replaced single use bags }hairout{ Clearly the message is not getting through. Maybe a campaign is needed like they did with cigarette packaging - no fancy logos or brand name, all one colour (I opt for yellow so that it can be seen) and vivid images of environmental destruction plastered over them. It might make people think twice about keep buying them?

BBC News
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KathJ
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by KathJ »

I don't think increasing the price will make any difference. If people need one they'll still pay it }hairout{ Not having them available in the first place is the only answer, people won't forget to take one out with them then!
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lancashire lass
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by lancashire lass »

KathJ wrote:I don't think increasing the price will make any difference. If people need one they'll still pay it }hairout{ Not having them available in the first place is the only answer, people won't forget to take one out with them then!


)like( though a rounded off to £1 (in line with the more sturdier bags) so that you might consider getting instead

I think we had stout paper bags when I was growing up abroad and only encountered single use plastic bags when we returned to the UK in 1979 (40 years ago) and the only supermarket I recall that stocked them were Sainsburys (I can't remember if they were free or not)

Supermarkets back then were much smaller than today (easily about a 1/5th the size of where I shop now) and often found in town centres - my parents & I would catch the bus into town with our bags on a Friday evening when they had extended hours. The bags were proper canvas bags usually tartan pattern with a plastic (black or mock leather) base and studs to protect from water when placed on wet pavement and leather handles for comfort. Elderly people had them on a 2 wheel trolley but were a nuisance for others getting on and off a bus) Luckily the bus stop was right outside the supermarket so not far to carry the bags. Truthfully I wouldn't want to go back to that system again and no matter how much people complain about the big supermarkets, the convenience of driving and able to park close by and load the shopping from the shopping trolley is immense.

When I look back and recall how things changed, I do remember we really did not like the plastic bags when we had to carry them far because the weight of the shopping (when the bags were not flimsy) cut into your fingers when gripping the handles. So I wonder if the reason for the increased use of the bags is when people started driving and parking outside supermarkets so not far to walk because no-one complains about it now.
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albertajune
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by albertajune »

Agree with all that you say LL. I also remember paper bags but if that came back today people would point out that trees have to be felled to make the paper. I honestly don't have a solution as the world population with its demands is forever growing. Some plastic can be recycled so why can't that be used instead of the problem stuff.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

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albertajune wrote:Agree with all that you say LL. I also remember paper bags but if that came back today people would point out that trees have to be felled to make the paper.


Paper bags could be made from recycled cardboard instead so no need to fell more trees & then after use could be composted/go in the recycle bin.

Some plastic can be recycled so why can't that be used instead of the problem stuff


As regards recycled plastic, if your council does not have something in place for plastic packaging (bags, wrappers, polystyrene fillers etc) which I'm finding out is actually most places, then it becomes non-recyclable and advised to go into landfill. There are options if you are dedicated and want to do your bit but I personally find most are not convenient - for example, collection points of specific recyclables (as in, only one particular type of plastic or brand name) that are very few and far between requiring travel (and apart from the time and effort, fossil fuel to get there and back) to a drop off point which might be a shop, a school or a charity or even someone's private home. And if you volunteer to be a collector, you have to fill a very large quota to make it worthwhile for the company before benefiting from being green thing.

albertajune wrote:I honestly don't have a solution as the world population with its demands is forever growing


I think perhaps the solution is to rethink how we shop and how we get it home (which might seem obvious) As Kath suggests, supermarkets (and other shop outlets) should be made to stop providing plastic bags in the first place to re-educate people from relying on a convenience of something being available and offer only the more durable bags (preferably made of something recyclable or compostable at the end of its life) instead.


When it came first out that single use bags were to be charged 10p each, I definitely saw a dramatic change in shopping habits (and to be fair, I still see people bringing their own bags when I go shopping in my supermarket) so maybe another hike might just do the same thing for these supposed "Bags for Life".

Or - though so far I only know of Tescos but others might also be doing it, swipe your own groceries as you shop and put them directly into crates in your trolley which you lift into your car so no bags involved at all (better still if it was a deposit scheme where you brought the crates back on your next shop so the crates are the property of the supermarket who maintain them rather than everyone having to buy loads of crates) I often wonder how the self swipe system is working because I'm sure some people don't swipe everything (whether accidentally or intentionally)
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KathJ
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by KathJ »

I was just thinking about those crates from Tesco myself and wondered if people still use them. I have my main shop delivered now and it comes in crates which they put down in my porch and I transfer to re-usable bags and move into my kitchen.
It was on the radio at lunchtime about the plastic 'bags for life' and a fishmonger came on to say he now uses compostable bags which rot down in 2 years. They must be pretty good too if they hold smelly fish so they're obviously available so I don't understand why supermarkets can't just switch their packaging.
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by Meanqueen »

I would like to see a minimum of £1 charged for all plastic carrier bags. Then people might get the message and bring their own.

ilona
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Mo
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by Mo »

Meanqueen wrote:I would like to see a minimum of £1 charged for all plastic carrier bags. Then people might get the message and bring their own.

ilona

Would they though? I once stood behind someone with a trolley full of shopping who asked for (and paid for) loads of bags and was putting things in them - big boxes of cereal one to a bag when they would have been easier to handle without the bag.
I often have big cardboard boxes in the car (that I store fruit in), so things go from the trolley into them. Bags only squash things, unless you are careful.
I shop by car on the way back from places I'm going to anyway (dance club, choir). Live a mile and a half from the nearest shop so sometimes walk with a rucksack, but can't carry much. The pram used to hold more but I sold that.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by lancashire lass »

Some good news that the supermarket Morrisons is ditching the plastic bags for life for paper ones, but apparently still an environmental question mark about the switch - link to BBC news

From Monday it will offer strong paper bags instead of reusable plastic ones in eight stores, and, if customers seem happy, offer them at all 494 stores.


Morrisons said there was evidence bags for life are being used once before being binned.


But while two of the biggest, Tesco and Sainsbury, have both taken steps to curb plastic use around its stores, they defended the use of bags for life.

Tesco said its were made from 100% recycled and fully recyclable plastic. It recently stopped using plastic bags to deliver online groceries following a successful trial last year.

Sainsbury gave the same details for its bags, and said it was trialling a return to bagless deliveries, which were temporarily stopped amid the pandemic.


Plastic or paper: which bag is greener

In 2011 a research paper produced by the Northern Ireland Assembly said it "takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag."

Unlike plastic bags (which the report says are produced from the waste products of oil refining) paper requires forests to be cut down to produce the bags. The manufacturing process, according to the research, also produces a higher concentration of toxic chemicals compared with making single-use plastic bags.

Paper bags also weigh more than plastic; this means transportation requires more energy, adding to their carbon footprint, the study adds.


Dilemna - increase carbon emissions for a less polluting bag or pollute the oceans for a bag produced using much less carbon? My personal take is that if it became a choice between paper and plastic (regardless of other possibilities), then it would have to be paper - plastic is not only polluting and damaging to the environment especially natural systems that can help to combat climate change, but it is accumulating and not degrading. At least trees from sustainable sources are replaced and are contributing to taking up carbon from the atmosphere whereas plastic does nothing but pollute. Plastic bags whatever their source are not currently recycled from domestic waste, but at least paper can.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by lancashire lass »

Price of plastic carrier bags in England to double to 10p next year

Environment Secretary George Eustice described the UK as "a world-leader in this global effort".


I'm not impressed - so much more should be done.

Greenpeace said the move was "a small step in the right direction" but urged the government to go further.

The environmental group called for "fast and substantial reductions on plastic pollution" beyond the issue of carrier bags.


"If they're increasing costs for shoppers, ministers really have no excuse not to increase costs for the companies that are responsible for the escalating volumes of single-use plastic packaging in the first place."


)t'
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KarenE
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

Post by KarenE »

It's the rest of the unnecessary plastic packaging that also gets me. Why does everything have to come wrapped in plastic, insde plastic or cardboard boxes? So much waste and pollution
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Re: Plastic Bags for Life ...

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true
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