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5P Saves The World

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Britain banishes plastic bags as 5p 'tax' sees usage plummet by 6 billion

Personally - I now have to buy bags for waste whereas previously I did not. This means (for our hotel) we are paying for something that was previously free.

I frequently have forgotten any bag when I am in the supermarket and so reduce my purchases accordingly to what I am able to carry back to the car. This has resulted in a saving in money I spend. On the other side of this is the fact hat I have had no coffee in the house for 2 days, but will probably buy some today.

Parents (where I have been staying for past 8 months) have so many charity bags for clothes collections etc through letterbox that I have not needed to buy and bags for waste in this time.

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I find that I have accumulated and consigned to cupboards various freebie canvas bags over the years so these have been pressed into use.

My stock of thin plastic bags that I carry in jacket pockets has however noticeably declined; they manage about half a dozen uses before failing.

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We use the charity collection bags which come through the door almost daily for emptying the cats' litter tray.

Not sure where we stand morally on that, but they tend to be the "we'll donate £1000 for every million quid we make" types, so I can sleep fairly easily.

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I've started used charity bags as dustbin liners! Had a bag full I once tried to recycle. Used to use supermarket bags for that.

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Not going to save the world, but it does show the difference between almost free, and free, in terms of shaping human behaviour at scale.

I live in Wales, so have got used to paying for plastic bags. I get caught without one when I need one about once a year now.

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It clearly has had a big effect, but probably not as much as 6 billion fewer plastic bags. For example I used to reuse supermarket bags as general refuse bags; now I buy rolls of them. So no net change in the number of 'plastic bags' I use, but that won't be measured in the statistics which are counting bags bought at the till.

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I find that I have accumulated and consigned to cupboards various freebie canvas bags over the years so these have been pressed into use.

My stock of thin plastic bags that I carry in jacket pockets has however noticeably declined; they manage about half a dozen uses before failing.

Same here. That said they do need washing periodically to avoid bugs.

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It is poor research, designed to show the desired effect.

The headline should be "Britain banishes plastic bags as 5p 'tax' sees usage at the till plummet by 6 billion, but the knock-on effect on other plastic bag usage is yet to be determined. Also, reusable bag sales have gone through the roof - and by more than you'd imagine just by the replacement-bag effect"

When a decent analysis was done in Northern Ireland on their introduction of a carrier bag tax the increase in bin-bag sales was significant. And, as bin-liners are usually a heavier plastic than disposable carriers, the impact on the environment could be greater.

When they introduced the charge in Wales there was a significant increase in use of reusable bags. These have their own environmental impact - if you don't use a reusable enough times (actual number depends on the material - the uses required for canvas type bags is enormous) then the environmental impact is greater than disposables.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for reusable bags - it is just that the headline benefits aren't as great as made out. And by this type of headline the only behaviour change is that people carry on as before, but feel better because that lovely hemp carrier bag is so great for the environment, even though they get a new one after 30 uses because it is looking a bit tired.

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I don't mind this. Taking a bag along isn't hard, or buying a bag for life at only 5p more that lasts for ages.

The main issue I have is that apparently you cannot invent a biodegradable (free) bag. What nonsense.

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Occurs to me that I have also moved some of my shopping from the supermarket to occasionally with the local greengrocer who still gives a free carrier with purchases, simply for another bag when I need one.

In the supermarket it does annoy me that card board boxes are no longer seen as an alternative for customers to use. 30 years ago they were the grocery transport of choice. They are now quickly either sabotaged to make them useless or moved into the back and out of the way. Presumably they are taken for recycling but I expect the supermarket has to pay for this.

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The main issue I have is that apparently you cannot invent a biodegradable (free) bag. What nonsense.

Are biodegradable bags better?

Sure, they 'disappear' after a while... but into what. With fully biodegradable you release a good proportion of the CO2 from the bag into the atmosphere, with non degradable that CO2 stays nicely locked up in the landfill site, or is burnt to create energy (as an oil replacement).

Most 'biodegradable' bags aren't fully biodegradable. They have some biodegradable links in the plastic, meaning they disintegrate into tiny bits of plastic. Okay - so the plastic bag 'disappears' after a while if it is just discarded by the beach - but all those tiny bits of plastic don't degrade further, but hang around for just as long as the non-degradable bag, entering the food chain, etc.

The biodegradable bag is just another excuse to make us feel better about our horrendous over consumption - the real problem, which will never be challenged as that is what drives our economy.

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Britain banishes plastic bags as 5p 'tax' sees usage plummet by 6 billion

Personally - I now have to buy bags for waste whereas previously I did not. This means (for our hotel) we are paying for something that was previously free.

I frequently have forgotten any bag when I am in the supermarket and so reduce my purchases accordingly to what I am able to carry back to the car. This has resulted in a saving in money I spend. On the other side of this is the fact hat I have had no coffee in the house for 2 days, but will probably buy some today.

Parents (where I have been staying for past 8 months) have so many charity bags for clothes collections etc through letterbox that I have not needed to buy and bags for waste in this time.

I would nt say I buy less, but it does put me in in a bad mood when I have spent a ton of money and they can't even supply a bag, a bit like having to pay for parking in a shopping centre. I am increasingly buying everyday household goods online, I see paying for plastic bags and paying for parking as small reasons not to use shops (but these small reasons mount up)

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Occurs to me that I have also moved some of my shopping from the supermarket to occasionally with the local greengrocer who still gives a free carrier with purchases, simply for another bag when I need one.

In the supermarket it does annoy me that card board boxes are no longer seen as an alternative for customers to use. 30 years ago they were the grocery transport of choice. They are now quickly either sabotaged to make them useless or moved into the back and out of the way. Presumably they are taken for recycling but I expect the supermarket has to pay for this.

They used to be sold or collected free ,but the price of waste paper has gone through the floor in the last few years so not too sure now, they may well be paying for the disposal now

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It has value that can be realised but only realistically by larger companies. Most of it will either be baled on site or backloaded to a distribution centre then baled in a more automated manner.

Full trailer load like this, usually yields comfortably over £1k but, even in the most favourable market I don't think I've ever known it get over £2k. If it averages £1.5k a load it's better than paying to dispose of it, like general waste, but it's not really a great money spinner when you factor in the setup costs.

A large fully automated baler for a distribution centre will be £100k+ just to buy the machine, even on finance it could still be more per month than skipping the stuff, plus construction and engineering work to install it. Alternatively, put a baler in every store at probably £10k a piece but then you've got the labour of someone standing there filling the machine and emptying the bales, plus electricity, plus service contract. On balance it's better than paying to have it taken away but you're never going to get rich off it.

Some goes to the ever decreasing number of UK paper mills, some goes back to China in containers and a surprising amount goes to Scandinavia it be burnt in power stations. The best thing for the environment would probably be to burn it on site, in some sort of incinerator, to heat the building, I suspect.

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Given how ******** Supermarket bosses are about their brand (and perfectly formed, tasteless fruit and veg etc) and the effort they go to to study and then manipulate their shoppers behaviour, they must absolutely hate it when you leave their store carrying your stuff out in competitors bags.

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Tubes. Tubes are the answer. We could dispense with packaging for a lot of products.

Toothpaste, ketchup, KY, butter, etc. should be piped directly to the home.

Not all down the same pipe, of course.

Also, bottles could be recycled by cutting a hole on the opposite side of the huge bottle bank containers, with a big sign saying "Free Bottles! Help yourself!"

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Britain banishes plastic bags as 5p 'tax' sees usage plummet by 6 billion

Personally - I now have to buy bags for waste whereas previously I did not. This means (for our hotel) we are paying for something that was previously free.

I frequently have forgotten any bag when I am in the supermarket and so reduce my purchases accordingly to what I am able to carry back to the car. This has resulted in a saving in money I spend. On the other side of this is the fact hat I have had no coffee in the house for 2 days, but will probably buy some today.

Parents (where I have been staying for past 8 months) have so many charity bags for clothes collections etc through letterbox that I have not needed to buy and bags for waste in this time.

I think it's bad to use a plastic bag for rubbish. Just have a plastic bin and empty it in you main bin regularly. You do not need to wrap up your rubbish for the bin. It's RUBBISH.

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One of impacts of carrier bag charging and a shift to reusable bags that is hard to measure is the reduction in those floating around 'in the wild'. Sure its not nice and quotable like CO2 where the reductions can be boiled down to numbers, but even if the reusable bag doesn't get to its break even point where it starts to reduce CO2 it potentially has made the street/country side a better place with fewer bags floating around on the wind. When the reusable bag is finished its much more likely to get recycled or binned properly rather than chucked out a car window.

Personally I'm happy with the changes - most of the free bags were really naff anyway and many supermarkets seemed to have upped the quality since the change, and Lidl charged for bags anyway.

I think it's bad to use a plastic bag for rubbish. Just have a plastic bin and empty it in you main bin regularly. You do not need to wrap up your rubbish for the bin. It's RUBBISH.

Works fine if its all dry - I don't fancy scraping snotty tissue off the side of the bin (hayfever season... bins are full of 'em) because some of it leaked... much easier to remove the liner they have stuck to :)

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Works fine if its all dry - I don't fancy scraping snotty tissue off the side of the bin (hayfever season... bins are full of 'em) because some of it leaked... much easier to remove the liner they have stuck to :)

I have the polite middle ground where I empty the rubbish out of the (lined) small bin into the big bin until the liner starts smelling or leaking and then the liner goes too.

Since the 5p charge came in I haven't bought any bags or any additional bin liners so in that small way it has worked. The fuel I get through in commuting however probably dwarfs my previous carrier bag wastage by about a thousand to one.

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For holding extras have small fabric fold up bags on hand...keep larger strong bags in boot of car as and when required......not missed the plastic bags, doing things differently, works well.

For small bins, have strong bags, empty and reuse them, stuff for compost empty and wash out to reuse.....food waste wrap in newspaper or old envelopes.....

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Just to be contrary I've upgraded to the 10p bags..

Nice and big, plus strong.

Great for carrying the shopping and for using as bin liners.

Costs about 50p per big shopping trip, but probably doesn't work out much more than buying packets of bin liners.. plus you still have something to carry your shopping in.

Win Win.

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One of impacts of carrier bag charging and a shift to reusable bags that is hard to measure is the reduction in those floating around 'in the wild'. Sure its not nice and quotable like CO2 where the reductions can be boiled down to numbers, but even if the reusable bag doesn't get to its break even point where it starts to reduce CO2 it potentially has made the street/country side a better place with fewer bags floating around on the wind. When the reusable bag is finished its much more likely to get recycled or binned properly rather than chucked out a car window.

That is a reasonable argument for me - but...

How come all of us have to change our behaviour to compensate for bad-behaviour from a small minority?

And in the end it doesn't actually help that much - I live on a busy junction where numerous people just chuck their rubbish out the window (not all by any means - probably just a couple of %, but there it is, blowing into my driveway). Before the tax it was stuffed into a bag, which I could conveniently pick up and put in my bin. They still chuck it out, only now it is in little piles of burger wrapper, drinks carton, sandwich wrapper, each of which needs to be picked up individually.

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It really does show how tight we are & how we don't look at the big picture. Yea, I'm fine to spend £3 on two bits of bread and a filling and £3 for a Harris & Hoole coffee. What's that you say? 5p for a bag? F*** OFF!!!!

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I switched to turtle bags years ago.

I live a mile from tracks. Bags were splitting before I got half way home.

I told the checkout girl they are called title bags as they are used to catch turtles. Thick bint believed me. I should have told her I was harry styles- she was pretty hot.

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