Cost or convenience: D day for the plastic bag

The 5p plastic bag charge

Today marked the start of big change in our shops. The 5p bag charge has finally come into force and it seems to have caused mixed opinion across the country.

Throughout the day, I have heard stories of anger and disagreement at the tills when shoppers have been given their plastic/paper bag ultimatum.

On the other hand, I have also heard several sighs of relief from fellow environmentalists that England are no longer lagging behind Scotland, Wales and Ireland with this movement.

I think we all knew that taking away a once free commodity would cause a certain amount of uproar but surely this course of action is going to cause more good than bad, right?

Single use plastic bags

To me, it’s obvious that the entire planet uses too much plastic and paper. And yes, people are 100% right when they say that plastic bags are not the only polluting, non-biodegradable criminals here.

But…single-use bags are a good place to start.

To most, they are one of those convenient things that once used, usually end up piling up in our cupboards or getting stuck in trees, bushes or floating in our oceans causing havoc to wildlife.

Because of this, I personally think the 5p charge is a great move forward and it couldn’t have come sooner.

In my opinion, I think the angst will be short lived and people will start to get used to the new rules. Of course, there are exceptions so we won’t see the death of single-use bags but hopefully, the reduction of them will spark a new wave of environmental and waste awareness.

The results from other countries who have put this in place before now have been nothing but positive. In some cases, single bag use was reduced by more than 70%.

I believe we can live without more single-use bags in our lives and start thinking of them as a more of a reusable resource.

Bag It

In the case of plastic bags, we all use plastic A LOT and yet, most of the time we don’t even notice it. It wasn’t until I watched the Bag It movie that I realised just how much I was buying and using it in my everyday life.

As a course of action, I decided to keep track of my plastic use throughout the day and it’s safe to say, I can’t seem to keep away from the stuff!

I wake up, jump in the shower and use my plastic shampoo and body wash bottles.

I blow dry my hair with my hairdryer that’s made from plastic casing and I apply my make up which is kept in mostly plastic containers.

I eat my lunch in, yes you’ve guessed it, a plastic lunch or microwave container!

Catching my point? That’s just about half way through an ordinary day and plastic is all around me without even batting an eyelid. But what’s scary is that it’s all too easy to do.

It’s a convenience material that so many things are made of nowadays that sometimes, we just cannot help but use it. Scary huh?

I haven’t yet been to my local supermarket but I have already made a promise to myself that I WON’T forget my bags for life!

What do you think of the 5p bag charge?

Do you have an alternative opinion on the new rules? Get in touch and comment below!

I would love to hear from you!

Image by Edinburgh Greens, 2010. Source link here

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