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anonguest

5P Plastic Bag Charges

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More well intentioned 'save the planet' environmental tosh that does nothing to improve the quality of our lives but adds to our living expenses.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/plastic-bag-5p-charge-heres-10195042#rlabs=4%20rt$sitewide%20p$1

So......I buy a single pack of poultry (does that include the frozen stuff too?!) and, say, a multi-pack of chocolate bars or a pack or two of biscuits.

At the checkout I (or the person at the till) places only the poultry into a carrier bag - so no 5p charge. I opt to carry the pack of choc bars by hand. As soon as I step out of the store I place said choc bars into the bag and walk off.

Another law/regulation that easily makes a fool of the law.

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Although the law is of questionable merit I don't get the your about the contents. I've always shoved as much in the bag as I think it'll take, no matter what it is and they've never tried to stop me.

edit: I've actually read the article. Yep, daft. Most of the time there will be at least one of those.

Tescos was handing out free slightly stronger bags on Saturday.

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I think the meat bit refers to the little plastic bags they pop the meat in at the counter....I could be wrong.

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I think the meat bit refers to the little plastic bags they pop the meat in at the counter....I could be wrong.

Ahhhh....could be. I was assuming that it applied to the bag used at the checkout.

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Further reading of this topic, on the BBC website, reveals more on where the raised money will go.....

"Initially to the supermarkets. This is not a tax and the money raised by the levy will not go to the government.

Retailers can choose what to do with the proceeds of the charge, but they are expected to donate to good causes."

Only 'expected' to. Not 'required' to. So, what chance these supermarket giants choose to give every single penny raised to good causes - and not use some of it to line their own pockets?!

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I think the meat bit refers to the little plastic bags they pop the meat in at the counter....I could be wrong.

Reading further, on BBC website, suggests/implies that this may not be the case.

The exclusions include:

"....or goods contaminated by soil, like potatoes or plants"

OK. So the frozen (or fresh poultry) is already plastic wrapped, and so doesn't qualify for exclusion? But the fresh fruit and veg?

So......I pop a single baking potato in my shopping basket and use it, at the checkout, to exempt me from paying the 5p charge. Ohh I can see hours of 'fun' ahead, anally quoting the law and the exemptions to legions of checkout staff. :lol:

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I've decided that I'm not going to use any bags, just put stuff back in the trolley and then load the trolley into the car!

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We are users of carrier bags because they nicely double up as pedal bin bags. I have a car but tend to walk to the shop, none of the food we buy ends up in the dustbin just bin bags containing non recyclables and the bin smells sweet after four weeks and is indeed nearly empty in a non meat household. But I guess the fact we use the evil plastic bags makes us worse than the rest of the population that fill the dustbins with festering food and pick the said food up in killer VW diesels but uses those lifetime bags.

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I think the meat bit refers to the little plastic bags they pop the meat in at the counter....I could be wrong.

It does, we have had the law in Wales for a while now and although it was a pain in the ass at first you just adjust your shopping habits by always keeping bags in the boot of the car.

I occasionally still get caught out but if you use the self serve isles you simply steal forget to tell the machine you've used them ;)

Generally, small independent retailers still hand out free single use ones, this is technically and infringement of the legislation but it is not enforced, only the larger retailers are complying.

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We are users of carrier bags because they nicely double up as pedal bin bags. I have a car but tend to walk to the shop, none of the food we buy ends up in the dustbin just bin bags containing non recyclables and the bin smells sweet after four weeks and is indeed nearly empty in a non meat household. But I guess the fact we use the evil plastic bags makes us worse than the rest of the population that fill the dustbins with festering food and pick the said food up in killer VW diesels but uses those lifetime bags.

I take your point but the rest of the population are already paying for their waste in the form of VAT on food they don't eat and fuel duty/VAT for the diesel they stick in their "killer VW". Their waste is not a reason for you to not have to pay for yours.

I have "bags for life" in my car boot and at home which I've used for a few years now. It's quite easy to not need bags from the supermarket.

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Plastic bags are marvellous. :unsure:

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Reading further, on BBC website, suggests/implies that this may not be the case.

The exclusions include:

"....or goods contaminated by soil, like potatoes or plants"

OK. So the frozen (or fresh poultry) is already plastic wrapped, and so doesn't qualify for exclusion? But the fresh fruit and veg?

So......I pop a single baking potato in my shopping basket and use it, at the checkout, to exempt me from paying the 5p charge. Ohh I can see hours of 'fun' ahead, anally quoting the law and the exemptions to legions of checkout staff. :lol:

No - if you buy anything else (that isn't exempt) then you have to pay. Of course, you could put the potato through as a separate item, pay for it, get the bag, and then put the rest of the shopping through (and put in the bag). But would that actually be a worthwhile use of your time?

Anyway, what I really hate about this kind of story is that it is only 'one deep' - they consider the impact on carrier bag sales.

Of course carrier bag use will go down if you increase the price. And the stories go on and on about how when carrier bags are 'taxed' in other countries there is a big impact. But what about secondary effects - what actually happens to carrier bags? The government's own studies have shown that a large number of bags are reused (mainly as rubbish sacks). So what happens if that is disrupted? - sales of bin liners (and other disposable bags) increase. What about the bags for life - again, the government's own studies show that many people don't reuse them enough to offset the additional environmental impact in creating the heavier bag. What happens if people overfill/overuse the bags and one breaks and spills your milk on the floor - how many spillages per year per person would offset the environmental impact of using more bags?

Now I'm not against the bag charge particularly - but why oh why can't we have an intelligent press - one that will ask 'what are the secondary effects', one which might say 'you might think people will go out and buy bin liners - but in other countries it is only a small effect' or 'if you're going to have a bag for life, you'd better use it over 100 times otherwise you're not actually being green'. Or, perhaps ask 'if you look around at the rubbish you see strewn about, how much is due to tesco disposable bags'. All these might be true, they might not be, but our free press isn't giving you that information. This is probably the one time that they could actually present information that might help people change their behaviours, or understand the environmental impact of their actions - and their wasting it on telling you that if you buy a live fish then you'll save the 5p.

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I take your point but the rest of the population are already paying for their waste in the form of VAT on food they don't eat and fuel duty/VAT for the diesel they stick in their "killer VW". Their waste is not a reason for you to not have to pay for yours.

I have "bags for life" in my car boot and at home which I've used for a few years now. It's quite easy to not need bags from the supermarket.

If everybody lived liked us then I agree the Exchequer would be in big trouble, on the plus side they would have no welfare or health care to dispense either. GDP would be instantly halved but we wouldn't all be working and consuming like headless chickens either.

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I take your point but the rest of the population are already paying for their waste in the form of VAT on food they don't eat and fuel duty/VAT for the diesel they stick in their "killer VW". Their waste is not a reason for you to not have to pay for yours.

I have "bags for life" in my car boot and at home which I've used for a few years now. It's quite easy to not need bags from the supermarket.

Provided you're organised enough to make sure you always have bags in car (or remember to take them to the shop) then bags for life are far better than carrier bags anyway. You never need to double bag anything and can get through the checkout a lot quicker (even Aldi and Lidl speed of light cashiers!) My personal favorite are the massive costco bags that can hold around what 10-15 normal carrier bags would - there is the issue that the bags for life will be weightier due to the added volume but I've personally no problem with that (plus there are smaller bags for life available).

One thing I have wondered is if anyone has ever 'cashed in' a bag for life when it has broke as is the promise? I've got probably near 50 odd of various sizes of these life bags and can't see me going to the hassle of customer services to get a replacement of something that costs, dependent on bag type, between 6p and a quid. It's also interesting to note (given the assumption that the supermarket 'should' be donating proceeds toward charity) that the lowest 'quality' bag for life in many shops is 6p (of which there will be no charitable assumption).

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I swapped my ASDA bag, new for old, at the checkout earlier this year. No hassle and no argument, it was several years old and quite tatty.

I'm a big fan of Aldi but once when I tried to re-use a previously purchased Aldi bag there they tried to charge me for it again! Always take a different supermarket's bag to Aldi/Lidl now for that reason.

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Provided you're organised enough to make sure you always have bags in car (or remember to take them to the shop) then bags for life are far better than carrier bags anyway. You never need to double bag anything and can get through the checkout a lot quicker (even Aldi and Lidl speed of light cashiers!) My personal favorite are the massive costco bags that can hold around what 10-15 normal carrier bags would - there is the issue that the bags for life will be weightier due to the added volume but I've personally no problem with that (plus there are smaller bags for life available).

One thing I have wondered is if anyone has ever 'cashed in' a bag for life when it has broke as is the promise? I've got probably near 50 odd of various sizes of these life bags and can't see me going to the hassle of customer services to get a replacement of something that costs, dependent on bag type, between 6p and a quid. It's also interesting to note (given the assumption that the supermarket 'should' be donating proceeds toward charity) that the lowest 'quality' bag for life in many shops is 6p (of which there will be no charitable assumption).

Well they're better for microbial life, at least. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/7863807/Bags-for-life-could-have-E.coli.html

Tests on shoppers’ bags revealed half contained traces of E.coli, a lethal toxin which killed 26 people in Scotland in 1996 in one of the worlds worst food poisoning outbreaks.

Scientists also found many were contaminated with salmonella.

Reusable plastic shopping bags have become increasingly popular in Britain thanks to supermarkets and other retailers giving out millions of free ones to shoppers in the last three years.

It is estimated that there are "hundreds of millions" of bags for life in use in Britain, according to sources within Wrap, the Government's anti-waste watchdog. Because the vast majority of people do not wash their bags after each shopping trip, they could be putting themselves at risk.

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Just wondering how HPCers are going to get around the pedal bin liner problem, surely no self respecting HPCer actually pays for pedal bin liners and uses their supermarket bags instead.

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Just wondering how HPCers are going to get around the pedal bin liner problem, surely no self respecting HPCer actually pays for pedal bin liners and uses their supermarket bags instead.

When I last checked, pedal bin liners in the coop were 8p per item, co buying carrier bags makes more sense. (Dedicated bin liners probably are a little more efficient, but not 60% so)

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Because the vast majority of people do not wash their bags after each shopping trip, they could be putting themselves at risk.

"Putting themselves at risk" yawn. Give me a reason to think that the odds aren't ludicrously long (it happening to some people doesn't mean they're not still ludicrously long, there are so many people around) and I might not think "another piece of scaremongering ******."

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Just wondering how HPCers are going to get around the pedal bin liner problem, surely no self respecting HPCer actually pays for pedal bin liners and uses their supermarket bags instead.

Bread bags. I have also used the plastic bags that special delivery etc mail comes in.

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Bread bags. I have also used the plastic bags that special delivery etc mail comes in.

I can see you produce very little waste, well done. I do tend use bread bags for freezer bags, I will have to look at investing in a micro pedal bin that takes bread bags.

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Just wondering how HPCers are going to get around the pedal bin liner problem, surely no self respecting HPCer actually pays for pedal bin liners and uses their supermarket bags instead.

I use charity bags instead of bin bags.

I must get at least 4 per week through the door,most of which seem to be off dubious charities that I have never heard of.

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