Plastic Bag Chaos

I just saw an article on the BBC News homepage and had to share: it’s titled Plastic bag charge a ‘complete mess’.

I wrote a while ago (see Week 8: Plastic Bags) that the government is thinking of introducing a 5p charge for plastic bags – but only in large stores and supermarkets.

This follow-up BBC article encapsulates everything I feel about it. It’s a good small step in the right direction, but it’s overly complicated and the example of other countries (Wales, Northern Ireland, Irish Republic) imposing an overall charge on bags seems to be working – why won’t England follow suit?

Take a look and let me know your thoughts! Do you know anywhere else that a charge for disposable bags has been a success?

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4 thoughts on “Plastic Bag Chaos

  1. The state of California has a charge for plastic bags. Overall, my friends there support it. Some miss the bags because they reused them for other things. There is a local chain of grocery stores in Colorado, where I live, that does not allow plastic bags but if you forget your reusable bag they give you a box to carry your groceries. I like this philosophy the best.
    I wish that there didn’t have to be laws and people just automatically did what was right. I think there is a reluctance in the US and probably England because every law takes away from people’s liberties to a certain extent.
    It is hard to get the majority of people to think green where I live. I do think there is a positive shift in thinking among many of the younger 20 somethings 🙂

    • Yeah, I think part of the problem for charging for them is that people then go out and buy extra plastic bin bags if they can’t use shopping bags in bins, so ultimately plastic bags are still being used. But overall I think charging is a step in the right direction. You’re right – I wish people just did these things automatically, but if they did then there wouldn’t be a problem!
      I like that Colorado idea of giving you a box to take your groceries home in – much more sustainable.
      There’s definitely a shifting trend, I agree, but I have met a fair number of people who think that because they recycle they don’t need to do anything else! Very frustrating!
      Really great to hear from you again 🙂

  2. Yes, I think we should be charged for plastic bags. That way, we will reuse the ones we have already, rather than accumulating more and more. I have a huge bag of plastic bags! When I moved house, a friend told me to throw them all away, calling them ‘clutter’. But I refused to pollute the environment. I now use them as bin bags and it feels so good giving them a second life!

  3. Pingback: Compulsory Plastic Bags?! | Every Week is Green

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