We’re still using too many plastic shopping bags

woman_walking_shopping_cart_1600_wht_8020According to the latest research we each used 140 plastic bags last year and have 40 stashed away at home.

The number has increased every year for the last five years. Each of us took 11.7 bags per month, up on 10 the previous year, and the total now stands at 8.5 billion.

England is the only part of the UK where you don’t have to pay for your bags (with some exceptions e.g. Aldi and Marks and Spencer).

Wales introduced the 5p charge in 2011 and shoppers there use only 2.1 a month. In Northern Ireland which began charging in 2013 shoppers use1.6 a month. In Scotland, which started charging last October, consumption has already dropped 80%.

For some reason England is being different, some might say difficult about this as there are exemptions for smaller shops and for paper bags  – which are charged at the same rate as plastic bags elsewhere in the UK.

The Minister for Waste Rory Stewart said “We’re all guilty of taking a carrier bag from a supermarket, storing it somewhere safe at home with the intention of using it again, then forgetting to take it with us when we go shopping“.

I have a car boot full of re-usable bags I have bought from various supermarkets but invariably forget to take them into the store with me as I think I’m only going to buy one thing and I won’t need a bag!

I’ve posted on this before some years ago and also about its impact on the environment. At  last it’s finally going to happen here in England


4 thoughts on “We’re still using too many plastic shopping bags

  1. kindadukish says:

    I will take plastic bags seriously when the food producers STOP pre-packing fruit and vegetables in supermarkets. I have complained time and time again to various supermarkets but they choose to ignore the issue!

  2. […] Not long before England catches up with the rest of the UK in charging for plastic bags which are damaging the environment. […]

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