Wednesday 27th November 2013
Defra have reported that “Local authorities should be responsible for enforcing the plastic bag charge due to be introduced in England in 2015” The 5p charge will be introduced as of October 2015. The ruling has been a long time coming but it did get me thinking about how we can all take responsibility. Whilst out shopping I take a reusable bag to avoid bringing home more plastic bags. Out shopping recently, not one shop asked if I would like a bag, they simply got one out and it was down to me as the consumer to say, ‘No it’s ok I have my own’. A quick Google search shows up lots of rants from people being offered bags to single items that are easy to carry or having bags “foisted” (good word!) upon them. Marks and Spencer reported that, on average, each person uses 133 plastic bags per year. In the 5 shops I went in, I turned down 5 bags. Assuming you average about 5 bags a week (in reality more if you’re doing a big food shop, have a large family etc) that’s 260 a year. Inevitably when extra charges come in, people are likely to kick back and complain.
What do you think? Are you happy to be charged if you forget your reusable bag? Would you rather companies simply change their policy, to ask if their customers would like one? M&S have reported a staggering 81% drop in people taking plastic bags since they introduced their charge, so perhaps it is a move for the better. Let us know what you think and if you have any innovative ways to avoid using plastic bags.