Imagine the scenario – you’re in your local supermarket but you forgot to bring your reusable bags with you again. Instead you come home with 5 or 6 single use carrier bags that the cashier handed to you for free. Do you feel guilty and remember to take your bags with you next time? Most people are now aware of the environmental implications of using plastic bags but we don’t always practice what we preach. An article that came out last week stated that the number of carrier bags given out by UK supermarkets is still rising, as it has year on year. Although we know we shouldn’t be using them, we’re still happily taking them home packed full of food.
Shoppers in the UK can use up to 60 carrier bags a month and only 1 in every 200 of these are recycled. The bags themselves are often made of oil based plastic and can take up to 1000 years to decompose. Many of these unwanted bags end up in our oceans where marine animals mistake them for food resulting in the deaths of many sea turtles as well as others. A simple change in our shopping habits could put a stop to this.
It was recently announced that a 5p charge for each singleuse carrier bag will be introduced in England next year. A similar proposal in Wales caused a 96% decrease in the number of bags handed out in 2011. I am fully behind this being put into place in this country to reduce the number of bags we’re sending to landfill.
Reusable canvas bags are everywhere now and it’s so easy to just pop a few in your bag or in the boot of your car. Besides, who wants to be seen with a boring old Tesco bag when you can be carrying your shopping in one of these beautiful creations? Have a look at some of my other beautiful canvas bag finds on pinterest.
Don’t wait until next year to get behind this initiative. Stop using plastic carrier bags now and do your bit for the planet.
Find out more:
Plastic bag use rises for fourth year – The Guardian
Facts about the plastic bag pandemic – Reuseit
Carrier bag charge – wales.gov.uk