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kaz

Plastic Bags

Marks & Spencer are claiming to be the first multinational to charge for carrier bags :angry4:

Netto and other smaller supermarkets have always charged for the use of carrier bags
Seabird

Would you pay for plastic bags, or would you remember to take your shopping bag each time?
I always use my plastic shopping bags as rubbish bags - so without them I'd be buying kitchen bin liners. Are they bio degradable?  
lilwitedogs

I doubt that the grocery bags we use here are biodegradable.  If they are, it takes a long time for them to degrade.  Most of the stores here have recycle bins for the bags by their front entrances.  Some stores are giving a few cents back if store bags are not used, or letting you put your name in for a prize drawing each week, things like that.
bodger

They reckon it takes a thousand years for a plastic carrier bag to degrade. shocked.gif
lilwitedogs

bodger wrote:
They reckon it takes a thousand years for a plastic carrier bag to degrade. shocked.gif


shocked.gif  :q11:  :sad11:  :q11:
Cabbagepatch

[quote="Seabird"]Would you pay for plastic bags, or would you remember to take your shopping bag each time?
quote]

I do have cotton bags with the intent of not using carrier bags.  Sadly I often forget them.  But if wherever I shopped I had to pay for carrier bags (esp. if they were expensive), I'm sure I would soon get into the habit of taking them with me every day.

There was a chap on Beeb2 the other day saying how much he enjoyed the convenience of 21st century living and he could not bear the thought of having to have a bag folded up in his back pocket just in case he stopped at the shops on the way home from work.

Surely, its just a matter of the way we think these days?  We just have it toooooo easy in my opinion.
CT

I have a rather large handbag with side pockets so carry my Tesco bag for life plus a canvas bag with me all the time and have now reduced taking carrier bags by about 90% of the time.  I had mountains of carrier bags until 6 months ago when I decided to change.  My friend got all the old carrier bags cos they fitted her bin.  

Bex

Hello CT :hello2:
I keep my recyclable bags in the boot of the car but keep forgetting to take them into the shops with me. I'm sure that I would remember if I knew it was going to cost me for plastic ones :q11:
CT

We keep the big bag for frozen food in the boot of our car.  so its always used when we go for a big shop and takes all the chilled foods.  Its amazing how quickly you get used to using your own bags.

rolleyes.gif
storm

Gosh - some of you are very organised :-)

I don't mind paying for carrier bags it is hardly going to break the bank but I hope they are a better quality than the flimsy freebies they hand out - and bio degradeable :q28:
mrutty

In the good old days you got charged for a bag into CoOp, Tesco, Sainsbury, Gateway, Fine Fayre, etc. Most supermarkets brought it back into play in the late 80s. The punter won't go for it. Supermarkets have for years been trying to get rid of the bags as it costs them money.

I smell a rat between the Mail, M&S and Gordon Brown.

M&S raped this country, it was the one that had single supplier deals, forced lower prices, etc. But we forget so easily.
Seabird

In a different era, when women mostly didn't work outside the home - one 'WENT SHOPPING' daily as a specific errand, taking the shopping basket for the day's purchases.
Nowadays, we're normally in a spin, whizzing round the supermarket, buying a week's provisions to throw into the boot, on the way back from work.
In fact, I remember Wrenson's delivered groceries on a bike, the bread milk and potatoes were delivered to the door, we went to the corner shop for most other necessities.
I don't think we've really progressed that far!
Dunk

I was amazed this morning to hear about M&S charging 5p a bag ... ok thats fine because shops such as Lidl have done it for years, but I would object to paying 5p for the flimsy bags they have now - generally you can use them 1 -2 times and then you need new ones. I was pleased that they were offering a bag for life, but i'm not too sure if it is worthwhile, but I find M&S too expensive anyway and what they stock in our local could not feed a family for a day let alone a week!
Lloyd

Maybe I'm confusing issues, but we use old bags as bin liners, so if we stop recycling them in this way, we then have to buy rolls of plastic bin liner bags instead.........Is this the way forward, or just a large company looking to increase profit and decrease loss by jumping on the green bandwagon?....And as Mrutty says, they are in Cahoots with our illustrious leader.
Bazzer

Haven't used a carrier bag for about six months now and to avoid forgetting to take our friendly ones with us they are kept right by the front door.
Cabbagepatch

hmm, how did mankind manage before the carrier bag was invented????
Lloyd

Tesco gave me one of their "Bag For Life", so I keep it with the rifle for carrying dead things.  ::
Smoky

In most supermarkets the assistants try to rush you so quickly through the checkout that they have started packing your things into new bags before you have got everthing out of the trolley at the other end. I would much rather pack my own bags  than just have a couple of items put in each bag by the till person :q11:
Bazzer

Eee. I remember when I twere lad.
Shops charged for carrier bags, so nothing new there, and they were the Brown Paper, String Handled ones.
Every household had there own shopping bags, baskets. Mum always had a clean one and a dirty one as she called them. The clean one was for meat, butter, cheese etc. and the dirty one was for veg. Weighed and then straight from the scales pan into the shopping bag, only Fruit or Tom's went into a paper bag first.
mrutty

Cabbagepatch wrote:
hmm, how did mankind manage before the carrier bag was invented????


We had shitty paper ones that fell apart at the first side of a bit of damp, then we had cloth bags that cut into your hand so we moved on to shopping trolleys with which I maimed most of Trowbridge  
Gareth

I remember my Mum having a traditional wicker basket, and a woven nylon fold away bag with nasty metal bar handles, and a hidious yellow and beige striped pattern.

Me; I use a combination of 2 X Large Iceland Insulated bags for life, 2 X large insulated, shoulder strap Thermos bags, or a Medium sized Sainsbury's insulated backpack. All obtained from my local freecycle group.
Spaniels

In the last few months our customers are coming in more often than not with their own bags (cotton, wicker baskets etc)

If they have forgotton then we offer them a recycled one first, as in what our supermarket shop came in

It's working out cheaper for us as a small business and we are recycling rather than putting new carrier bags out  :-) aand the customers seem happy with it - we don't charge for new bags if we've run out of recycled ones

(That reminds me got a bag full to take into work, will go and get them out now so I remember    )
Spaniels

Forgot to ask - Has anyone still got the green boxes that safeway used to have - they had special trollys made to hold them too

Shame when they got taken over it stopped

I still have the boxes and take these when i do a food shop (although lately been getting the food delivered and then they use loads of carrier bags  :angry4:  )
Bazzer

Quote:
although lately been getting the food delivered and then they use loads of carrier bags


Plus fuel, exhaust emissions etc.
Although that could be offset by the number of cars not doing the shopping run.
mrutty

Spaniels wrote:
Forgot to ask - Has anyone still got the green boxes that safeway used to have - they had special trollys made to hold them too

Shame when they got taken over it stopped

I still have the boxes and take these when i do a food shop (although lately been getting the food delivered and then they use loads of carrier bags †:angry4: †)


We have Sainsbury smart boxes which were the same thing.

Once again punters wouldn't go for it.
Bazzer

Tesco's had the same thing which seems to have passed by now. Lucky if you see them once in a blue moon now and the special trollies seem to have disappeared totally.
HonkHonk

We too have our own bags but more often than not forget them
So we then look for old cardboard boxes near the till, the kids have picked up on this aswel, my youngest daughter was doing a charity bag packing at our local Morrisons, and she asked everybody if they would prefer a box or a bag.
Smoky

Good for her, you see skips full of flattened cardboard boxes outside supermarkets that could have been re-used.
lilwitedogs

I put my string bags on the belt first, so that the bagger can use those. †I've had the checker tell me she didn't know what to charge me for them. †She thought I was buying them and she couldn't find a price on them anywhere. shocked.gif †shocked.gif

That's happened more than once....
freckle

I think some people are missing the point of the charging for bags-hitting people's purses seems to be the only sure fire way to make people change their habits!  The system has worked well in Ireland and reduced bag usage by a huge percentage (can't remember exactly but I'm sure it was approaching 90%).  It isn't hard to remember to have bags with you-we have a combination of canvas and cotton bags plus the odd trolley liner and bag for life stashed away in the car, in bags and in the odd pocket.  Granny style string bags are the best-they are so flexible and expand to take loads of stuff.  I haven't used shop bags in years and people used to look at me very strangely when I refused their bags-not only in supermarkets but all other retailers.  They looked even more strangely when I asked them to unpack stuff they had automatically put in a bag!  But now most places seem to accept it so you're not such an odd bod!  And if people do pack your stuff up in an attempt to rush you through just unpack it-they should have asked first!!  I'm planning on a meat container next for our few butcher trips-I don't want my meat wrapped up in all that plastic wrap and then sealed in another bag! (hopefully later on this year we'll be getting most of our meat unwrapped from the field!!)
Christine

Hang fire - everyone is missing the point.

It's easy to get round the plastic bag syndrome with some effort but will the shops stop selling me everything else shrink wrapped and in plastic. If you take the plastic bag off most times in the supermarket you have left the bar code on the shelf so the person on the till can't charge you .........

Why the heck should I pay for a plastic bag AND be charged for all the wrapping that I don't want?

Last time I stopped at the local market stall I came away with a pile of wrapped goods even though they were all on special offer.   rolleyes.gif
Spaniels

fruit and veg I get from the local deli and they wrap dirty veg in newspaper - potatoes sacks have been cut up and sewn into bags and you have to leave a deposit and get it back when you return the sack bag

Christine - I know exactly where you are coming from, everything has so much plastic packaging now it's un real - hence I shop at the local deli plus it's local produce. (so that reduces the carbon footprint too - they make a point of saying which farm the products have come off too  :-)  )
mrutty

Spaniels wrote:
hence I shop at the local deli plus it's local produce. (so that reduces the carbon footprint too - they make a point of saying which farm the products have come off too †:-) †)


How do you know it reduces the carbon footprint?

Not having a go but I know of farms that get in feed every other day, burn tons of crud and more. These farms have huge carbon footprints and then small shops use a small van to make a number of trips to get in fresh products where the vans are never full. But we have the impression that they have small carbon footprints.
Christine

Now the Daily Mail would have us believe that our Darling chancellor is looking at a tax on super market carrier bags.

Silly boy obviously doesn't do his own shopping or he would be taxing shrink wrap packaging and plastic bags containing vegetables. It would raise more in tax till everyone cottoned on and worked on an environmentally friendly solution that government wouldn't dare to tax.
Spaniels

mrutty wrote:
Spaniels wrote:
hence I shop at the local deli plus it's local produce. (so that reduces the carbon footprint too - they make a point of saying which farm the products have come off too †:-) †)


How do you know it reduces the carbon footprint?

Not having a go but I know of farms that get in feed every other day, burn tons of crud and more. These farms have huge carbon footprints and then small shops use a small van to make a number of trips to get in fresh products where the vans are never full. But we have the impression that they have small carbon footprints.


My two neighbours (farms)  supply the deli and we all contribute to the compost - all our compost waste goes to the farms on a fortnighly basis - they are doing their best to reduce the carbon footprint.

We even has a LPG small van to run the produce in and it doubles as the school bus  :-)
Lloyd

mrutty wrote:
Spaniels wrote:
hence I shop at the local deli plus it's local produce. (so that reduces the carbon footprint too - they make a point of saying which farm the products have come off too †:-) †)


How do you know it reduces the carbon footprint?

Not having a go but I know of farms that get in feed every other day, burn tons of crud and more. .


Perhaps not the best examples of good land husbandry. i also know farms who burn their campsite rubbish. I wouldn't call it good practise.
mrutty

Spaniels wrote:
mrutty wrote:
Spaniels wrote:
hence I shop at the local deli plus it's local produce. (so that reduces the carbon footprint too - they make a point of saying which farm the products have come off too †:-) †)
How do you know it reduces the carbon footprint?Not having a go but I know of farms that get in feed every other day, burn tons of crud and more. These farms have huge carbon footprints and then small shops use a small van to make a number of trips to get in fresh products where the vans are never full. But we have the impression that they have small carbon footprints.
My two neighbours (farms) †supply the deli and we all contribute to the compost - all our compost waste goes to the farms on a fortnighly basis - they are doing their best to reduce the carbon footprint. We even has a LPG small van to run the produce in and it doubles as the school bus †:-)


So that is an assumption on your part as you have no way (nor do any of us at this moment in time) of measuring food carbon footprints. Many of us could be doing loads of things that are in fact making things worse.
mrutty

Lloyd wrote:
mrutty wrote:
Spaniels wrote:
hence I shop at the local deli plus it's local produce. (so that reduces the carbon footprint too - they make a point of saying which farm the products have come off too †:-) †)
How do you know it reduces the carbon footprint?Not having a go but I know of farms that get in feed every other day, burn tons of crud and more. .
Perhaps not the best examples of good land husbandry. i also know farms who burn their campsite rubbish. I wouldn't call it good practise.
Round here the sites recycle what they can. The madness is that once you get over a certain amount you have to pay extra for the recycling to be removed, get over another amount and local companies will pay you for it. Kind of odd.With burning rubbish, is it better to burn than bury? Not sure on that one.
Lloyd

The farm I am referring to burns plastics as well as tin cans on their fire to avoid enhanced charges, to which they are lawfully entitled as a business. These goods are recycleable. I am not pointing a finger at the farming industry generally, just talking within my experence.
mrutty

http://www.carrierbagtax.com/

A prime example of what I mean on carbon footprint calculations.

Now there will be some that will say that this is just bag produces trying to save their jobs, but be honest how much research into the subject have you done on this subject.
Seabird

It's been a quiet day in the shop, so I've been checking packaging prices, with a view to replacing our plastic carriers with paper.

Bear in mind that we sell garments and handbags, so need good quality packaging to reflect what the customer has spent in the shop.

So far, the cheapest good quality paper carriers (unprinted), in the size we want, work out about 4 times what we've paid for top quality plastic carriers with a clip fastening, printed with our logo on both sides.

With all our other overheads going through the roof, and the possibility that sales figures could drop because of the unstable economy, it's a no brainer unless we pass the cost onto the customer.

It's not that easy to be green!
storm

Seabird wrote:
It's been a quiet day in the shop, so I've been checking packaging prices, with a view to replacing our plastic carriers with paper.

Bear in mind that we sell garments and handbags, so need good quality packaging to reflect what the customer has spent in the shop.

So far, the cheapest good quality paper carriers (unprinted), in the size we want, work out about 4 times what we've paid for top quality plastic carriers with a clip fastening, printed with our logo on both sides.

With all our other overheads going through the roof, and the possibility that sales figures could drop because of the unstable economy, it's a no brainer unless we pass the cost onto the customer.

It's not that easy to be green!


They need good quality packaging to protect ithem from rain (dare I say especially in Wales  :q28: ). Last time I was given a paper bag it was raining and all my goodies ended up on the floor. Perhaps you could give customers the option and see which is the most popular.
Seabird

storm wrote:
Seabird wrote:
It's been a quiet day in the shop, so I've been checking packaging prices, with a view to replacing our plastic carriers with paper.

Bear in mind that we sell garments and handbags, so need good quality packaging to reflect what the customer has spent in the shop.

So far, the cheapest good quality paper carriers (unprinted), in the size we want, work out about 4 times what we've paid for top quality plastic carriers with a clip fastening, printed with our logo on both sides.

With all our other overheads going through the roof, and the possibility that sales figures could drop because of the unstable economy, it's a no brainer unless we pass the cost onto the customer.

It's not that easy to be green!


They need good quality packaging to protect ithem from rain (dare I say especially in Wales †:q28: ). Last time I was given a paper bag it was raining and all my goodies ended up on the floor. Perhaps you could give customers the option and see which is the most popular.


Exactly right Storm. We would have to offer plastic bags for rainy days, so there will always be a need for plastic bags. I was just gobsmacked by the difference in price, especially as I was looking at natural coloured bags (the dye in coloured paper bags can be a bit iffy). It must be a quantity thing. The more demand, the more efficient the production process, the cheaper they become. Suppose we'll have to start somewhere.
mrutty

Seabird wrote:
It's not that easy to be green!


But is it green if paper bags take 4 times the amount of lorries to deliever them?

Seabird wrote:
The more demand, the more efficient the production process, the cheaper they become.


When paper was cheap as paperbags were at their height then the price was still signifcantly higher that plastic. To be honest I can't see the price coming down at all.
Fey Dunnabitt

"We would have to offer plastic bags for rainy days, so there will always be a need for plastic bags"

If you would have to offer them for rainy days and there will always be a need for them, how on earth did we manage when I was a child and we'd never seen or heard of plastic bags? Or plastic anything, for that matter. The telephone, the wireless (sic) and some knife handles were made of bakelite and when I was about five, my mother got a plastic washing-up bowl, which was the first plastic I remember. Some people had Formica cupboards, though. That was in Hampshire and London in the '50s. For all the time before that, all those centuries, plastic wasn't necessary - yet now it's strangling and smothering everything and we think thereís no alternative! Look at this (all the text as well as the photos) http://www.theecologist.org/archive_detail.asp?content_id=1169 and I heard a broadcast on the World Service from, I think, Uganda, where the thin plastic bags, carriers and wrappings have made such layers over the ground that water canít drain away and lies in stinking pools to breed mosquitos, malaria and dysentry.
Seabird

Yes, I am quite aware of that. I too, spent early years listening to a radio made of bakelite, I can remember bakelite toy cars and seeing my first plastic bag. As I recall, the draper and haberdasher wrapped their wares in brown paper and string, which, as Storm pointed out, got soggy and wet on the way home. I also recall that asbestos was commonly used as a building material, and that city buildings were black, paint contained lead, factory chimneys belched out noxious smoke and there was a high death toll from bronchitis, so it wasn't all good!!

It still comes down, however, to the customer's expectations. If you had spent up to £500 on a special occasion garment you don't expect brown paper and string!!

We are taking a realistic approach - using good quality paper carriers when appropriate, and plastic when it's wet. Please bear in mind, our plastic carriers are not supermarket bags, but are reused time and time again by the customers (they tell us so!!!)
Fey Dunnabitt

Seabird, I wasnít  meaning it as a personal criticism of you and I apologise if it sounded like that, nor was I recommending that we use asbestos and enjoy pea-soupers. I was talking about plastic in general and if you didnít read the article to which I linked or see the photos then you canít know what I meant. Thatís why I posted the link and why I said that you really need to read the text, too. Iíve stopped buying anything thatís made of or packed in plastic, unless itís really, truly unavoidable. Iíve been refusing plastic carrier bags and mostly managing to avoid those thin ones for fruit in supermarkets, for decades, since they were invented, but now Iíve sworn to avoid all plastic if I can. That means no biros or lighters (pens, pencils and matches) not replacing the computer mouse if it breaks down, no shampoo or cleaning or gardening products in plastic (including ďecoĒ ones) no more fromage blanc, ever, no yoghourt unless in glass with foil top, no hair-slides or combs or Ė well, Iíll see what else. Itís bad enough to think that some of my plastic may be in those very photos, not because Iíve been as careless or uncaring as some people, but because sometimes Iíve been careless (in a high wind, plastic bag blows away and I donít chase it, for instance, or I drop something when throwing rubbish in bin and donít pick it up Ė just little things, but so bad, all the same) and Iíve often been careless in my purchases. I used never to be, but now that itís so much more difficult, Iíve often and often given in to temptation, convenience or cheapness. A while ago, I needed a dustpas and brush Ė mine were completely broken and bristle-less Ė and I gave in and bought a cheap plastic set made in China, as it was 1Ä25 whereas the metal, wood and coconut one was 7Ä45. Iíve felt guilty ever since. The same with bedding Ė when all our old-fashioned woollen blankets had worn out or been destroyed by fire, I replaced them with synthetic duvets and blankets and I shouldnít have. I believe and have for some time that itís too late, that we will destroy the world completely, but Iíd rather minimise my part in it, all the same.
(I won't replace the computer, either, unless with a secondhand one.)
As for asbestos and pea-soupers, we've replaced them with other things that do as much harm. It seems to be human nature to destroy more than conserve or create and I can't change that, so I'll shut up now.
Bazzer

Why shut up Fey?
A worthwhile and interesting debate.
Seabird

I agree. I wish we could all live a plastic free lifestyle Fey. Well done you!

Yes, a horrifying article. The Midway floating rubbish was the subject of a recent TV article. I think that today's 'throwaway' mentality is equally to blame though. We use an everlasting material to manufacture disposable consumables. Mad isn't it?
Why not make it compulsory for all supermarkets to offer a recycling bin for plastic bags? The only one round here is Tesco -any that I don't re-use go in the boot of my car and I drop them off when passing. Also should be compulsory for us to recycle them. Better still educate the customer to use their own bag - the proposed charge is a start.
Much greater penalties for dropping litter and fly tipping
Just for the record, we're still using a plastic dustpan and brush that's 39 years old. Tatty but serviceable. But then I'm from a generation brought up to make do and mend!
Bazzer

The thing I use for cleaning is 60yrs. old.
Mrs.B.  ::
We use the Tesco "Bag for Life" system and added to that, four Canvas Bags. Stored by the front door so that we do not forget them. Guess what? We still do at times.
My local "Paki" (Sri Lankans actually and bdooly nice people) shop is, on a smaller scale worse than all the Supermarkets % wise. Buy a paper and they put it in a plastic bag. :q52:
dani

The tide does seem to be turning in that a lot of shops that I go into now actually ask if I want a bag rather than just packing the product. There are a lot of shops that are selling the canvas bags now - all with their own logo printed on them though :q52:
Fey Dunnabitt

Seabird wrote:
I agree. I wish we could all live a plastic free lifestyle Fey. Well done you!
Yes, a horrifying article. The Midway floating rubbish was the subject of a recent TV article. I think that today's 'throwaway' mentality is equally to blame though. We use an everlasting material to manufacture disposable consumables. Mad isn't it?

Thanks, Seabird. Yes, quite, quite mad, but I honestly think that humans are getting madder by the day. As there've been articles and television and radio programmes about it and about all the destruction we cause, why on earth isn't everyone putting it as an absolute priority? You see an article or hear an item on the news, pointing out the horrendous and soon-to-be final destruction, and it's given less importance by the publishers and the readers/listeners/viewers than some rubbsih about Britney Spears or a T.V. reality show. It's like being told that your house is about to collapse and kill you and all your children and replying, "Yes, but I must finish my nail varnish." Quite, quite mad.

I saw this †http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php?id=7 on a BBC forum and it only got a few replies - no-one cared, they just went on and on showing off and discussing trivia. (I can't make that work as a clickable link - you have to copy and paste it. Good art and what a way to get a message across, except that not many poeple will ever see them.)

Quite, quite mad. Of course there isn't a god - it would never have invented humans.

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