Posted tagged ‘Plastic Bags’

A Nation of Shopkeepers Bags

February 23, 2010

Previously plastic bags were compulsory when you shopped and drum roll…they were free. Now horror upon horror the customer is hit with a stealth tax at the checkout as a nominal fee is imposed in some shops to wean the shopper off their plastic habit. This is unfair, they shout as when we hire a trolley we get our pound back when we’ve finished with it. That is true but retailers citing the green issue are cashing in.

Like the little puppy at Christmas a plastic bag is for life. It takes 500 years (human years not dog years) for these bags to decay in a landfill. The plastic bag is not very resilient and when over-filled bursts quite easily. Hence we see double baggers in shops which add to the problem as most of the bags are thrown away after one use. Double baggers are loathed almost as much as the eleven item consumer in the ten or less queue.
So what’s to be done?

The paper bag option is also a fragile boom and bust container but has nowhere near the half-life of its plastic counterpart. All sorts of items would tear the pulped wood to ribbons: prickly pear, lobster claws, Satay sticks and other dangerous foods. And usually after being used they litter the streets. I think paper bags are a waste of a tree and could be used to make more copies of a good book like The History of Tractors.

Re-usable bags are a good idea, the only thing I see wrong with them is the advertising of a specific shop leading to a misleading comedy of errors. For example, you have a big reusable Tesco bag and house it with a sweater bought from Marks and Spencer’s. Problems could occur if on meeting a friend he is hungry and asks kindly if he could eat something from your groceries; he can’t eat a big woolly jumper.

A solution would be for shoppers to carry a bed sheet or beach towel to the shops. They could place all the goodies on the sheet then wrap it up, tie it and force a stick through the knot and walk about like an American cast-off railroad Hobo.