/ UKC Zero Plastic Bags for 2007 Challenge
The average plastic bag has a life span of 20 minutes.
Source - http://www.wasteonline.org.uk
A tax has been introduced in the south of Ireland which overnight reduced the use of plastic bags by 90%. Here is Tony Blair’s response to this -
“I have to say that the line on this is we have no plans to introduce such a tax. You obviously keep all these things under consideration, the question is whether it would work or not, it is important that we look at the evidence from Ireland, but it is also important that we take into account the views of consumers as well. I think there is a lot of work however we are doing with some of the main supermarkets and others in order to try to reduce the packaging and therefore to protect the environment, but we do not at present have any plans to introduce a plastic bag tax.”
So it doesn’t look like the Government are going to do much.
UKC Zero Plastic Bags for 2007 Challenge
In the James-Louwerse household we have managed for the last three months to operate on virtually no new plastic bags and our aim is to reduce this figure to zero for the whole of 2007 (and then beyond once we get used to it). The impact of the James-Louwerse family is only 1450 bags over the whole year (based on the figure at the top of the page) so we thought we might try and see if we could make a more significant impact by extending this challenge to UKClimbing readers.
24,000 registered users all NOT using 290 bags during the year = 6,960,000 bags!
Now that has got to be worth aiming for.
The idea is that you manage to last the whole of 2007 without accepting any plastic bag from any retailer. To do this you need to either carry what you bought, or use bags you already own. If you do get caught out then any bag you accept must be re-used at least five times for it not to count towards your total. Be wary of trying to re-use a normal flimsy supermarket bag five times - most won't last that long. A better idea is to purchase a stronger bag at the checkout.
During the last few months we have noticed that there are some places that you can get caught out. Having some bags in the car permanently is a good idea. Keeping one of those bag storage devices in the kitchen is also a useful way to make sure you re-use.
1) Some shops insist on bags to avoid you getting picked up by the store detective. This is nonsense and you can just use your receipt. If they still insist then leave the bag at the till nearest the door.
2) Supermarket online ordering. A tricky one! They always use far too many bags and it could prove impossible to stop them and still get your order properly. We suggest either un-bag the stuff while the delivery person is there and give them the bags back, or do it on the next delivery. They will probably still get binned though.
3) Fruit and veg plastic bags in greengrocers and supermarkets. Another tricky one. Often you don't actually need a bag. If you do then some GGs supply paper bags. Of course getting yourself organised and re-using the bags is the best idea.
Sign-up for the challenge via this thread and we will keep checking through the year.
Tesco recycle carrier bags in bins outside their stores.
Buy a strong shopping bag like one of the Ikea ones and use that.
Bob's yer uncle.
I try to get the cardboard boxes as they burn nicely afterwards and the stuff doesn't spill out on the roundabouts
Ha ha - we're doing the same thing!
Keep some tied up in a ball in the bottom of your bag for those impromptu shopping trips...
> In the James-Louwerse household we have managed for the last three months to operate on virtually no new plastic bags and our aim is to reduce this figure to zero for the whole of 2007 (and then beyond once we get used to it). The impact of the James-Louwerse family is only 1450 bags over the whole year (based on the figure at the top of the page) so we thought we might try and see if we could make a more significant impact by extending this challenge to UKClimbing readers.
The problem with this is that I reuse all carrier bags as bin bags. If I didn't accept carriers, then I'd have to buy bin bags, which would be used only once.
I do have a "bag for life" but after a week or so I've then run out of carriers for bin bags. Any ideas on how to overcome this problem would be gratefully received! Or in this case is it indeed better to use carriers, then reuse for the bins?
Recycle is not re-use - a very important distinction. It is actually a bit dubious as to whether or not recycling bags provides any environmental benefit. Less rubbish but more carbon used in the recycling process.
You may not know that since then Tescos report an 80% increase in the sales of swing bin liners. SuperQuinn supermarket reports an 84% increase in the sales of disposable nappy bags.
At the same time, retailers have found that substitutes for thin plastic carrier bags occupy more space and Marks & Spencer reports using three times as many lorries to transport alternatives (“bags for life” and paper bags) with a resulting rise in exhaust emissions and traffic nuisance.
If I didn't get bags from Tesco or where-ever, I would end up buying them too, they get used as bin liners, cat litter receptacles and a bunch of other stuff.
That said, I am totally for reducing waste volumes and recycling, just need to recognise the big picture.
That is another problem. Not sure how to solve that one. We actually do use bin bags in this house and they are big bought ones to fit the big bin.
Perhaps we should make an exception for any bag used as a bin bag.
> This is due to one Muir using a string bag for her shopping and me not shopping at all.
There is always an old school answer to most of the worlds problems.
Anyone know the definitive answer?
one of your old string vests recycled as a shopping bag ?
> “I have to say that the line on this is we have no plans to introduce such a tax. You obviously keep all these things under consideration, the question is whether it would work or not, it is important that we look at the evidence from Ireland, but it is also important that we take into account the views of consumers as well. I think there is a lot of work however we are doing with some of the main supermarkets and others in order to try to reduce the packaging and therefore to protect the environment, but we do not at present have any plans to introduce a plastic bag tax.”
respect Tony....you actually said that the government is not going to do anything about it....you need to read between the lines a bit but it's pretty much there....no suggestions of a task force, plastic bag "tsar" etc.
Easy challenge then! Just means refusing the silly small bags from places like HMV and Boots, which is easy enough :)
Every bag big enough to fit in the bin (small pedal bin) gets used that way. I do have some proper bin liners in the kitchen, but one roll has lasted over 4yrs so far, I use them that infrequently.
Check what you are throwing away in the first place, most plastics can be recycled, as can glass, paper, tins etc. If your council doesn't run doorstep recycling schemes then most supermarkets have bottle banks etc, take the recycling back next time you shop. Organics can go into a composter, including teabags and eggshells. What's left after that lot isn't going to fill many bags.
All I need to do now is stick to that myself :)
Almost certainly still represents a significant reduction in plastic use though.
Except that they will be travelling many fewer times hence overall less emissions. Depends slightly on how often people actually re-use the bags though.
Again, I bet people get more than enough plastic bags in everyday use to service this sort of usage.
It's something I have been thinking about lately, as we have one of those plastic bag recycling bins in our kitchen and it always seems stuffed full.
I've bought some of those non-disposable bags for shopping, but I find I'm too forgetful to remember to bring them all the time. I'm trying, though! And have declined plastic bags as much as I can if I already have a bag that purchases can fit into.
I do take them down to the supermarket occasionally where they have a bag recycling place. Is that any good or is that just as bad as using new ones?
I wouldn't like to promise that I'd not use *any* new plastic bags in 2007 (as I don't think I'd be able to) but I will promise to try and reduce the number, definitely.
> There is always an old school answer to most of the worlds problems.
Solving the world's problem created a problem for me. I could not use the poly bags to keep my sleeping bag dry, so I had to buy an Ortlieb Dry Bag.
In Holland where I grew up, the main supermarket charges you for plastic bags. They're the larger type like Sainsbury's bag for life sized ones. It means that a lot of people remember to bring their old carrier bags with them when they go shopping.
Re: paper vs plastic. I much prefer paper bags, but you can't beat plastic for downpours and durability.
> Check what you are throwing away in the first place, most plastics can be recycled, as can glass, paper, tins etc. If your council doesn't run doorstep recycling schemes then most supermarkets have bottle banks etc, take the recycling back next time you shop. Organics can go into a composter, including teabags and eggshells. What's left after that lot isn't going to fill many bags.
> All I need to do now is stick to that myself :)
Very commendable. But I have a tiny galley kitchen with no outside space for boxes of tins, plastic etc, etc. If I were to store boxes of such things in the kitchen, I wouldn't be able to move in there! (seriously, it's too small for more than one person at a time in it). So other than bottles, which I can store in old wine carriers in the boot of the car, it's not that practical. Oh, and the council do have a paper recycling scheme, except my box kept getting stolen :(
Actually they're the one type I find vaguely useful (in small numbers). I find them perfect for separating small stuff out to make them easier to find and keep dry in rucsacs.
or you could just use a bin bag.
I use all of mine for bin bags (needed for damp/messy cooking rubbish).
Already an avid " I Dont need a bag Thanks" pearson.
Was in Boots the other day. They do a lunch deal, where you gat a paper bag and fill it with a bottle of coke, a sandwich and some chocolate. I wasn't sure wether to laugh or cry when i saw the till operators then placing these bags into another plastic bag...
how come in europe you need to pay for each of the bags you use....is that money going directly to the tax....or just a portion?
is it driven by the individual country or the EU?
doesn't really seem that hard once you get used to it.
I'm up for it. And surely we all have a suitable rucksack (or three) for doing the shopping with! Durability and much easier to carry than a carrier bag - what more could you ask for?
they are handy for picking up dog shite off the rugby pitches though !
Not come across this but I have had lots of incredulous looks from shop assitants. Certainly this is a very minor problem.
Those well know radicals at the WI had a campaign where excess packaging was taken off goods near the checkout and handed back to the supermarket. A co-ordinated campaign like that would be ace. Unfortuately I don't have the courage to do this myself.
The bag for life from Tesco was the best 60p I've sent recently. Unlike plasic bags it prevents the shopping spilling across the floor of my 4x4 :-)
On a slight tangent, I ordered some stuff off nigelsecostore.com last week and was gobsmacked to receive items that were packaged, quite unnecessarily, in plastic. The product itself (the pitrok deodorant) is great, so why does that company spoil the 'eco-friendly' thing by using such un-eco-friendly packaging? Very bizarre.
One of my bug-bears - why do Morrisons see it necessary to package individual capsicums in shrinkwrap plastic stuff? FFS!
this unnecessary packaging thing... the problem seems to be that on the one hand there's people saying 'we don't want as much packaging' and on the other hand there's people saying 'I want my fruit and veg to be triple packed in plastic to make sure no germs or terrorists-injecting-vials-of-ricin have come near it'...
what to do, what to do... which way do the big supermarkets (etc) bow in terms of consumer pressure? neurotic or green?
It seems like a good idea to charge for bags, it does make you think about how many you really need. I doubt very much whether I'd be able to have a zero bag 2007 since that would require me to remember to take bags with me when I went shopping but I do minimize the number of bags I use by always having a rucksack with me and telling shop staff (in Boots etc) that I don't need a bag when they auto-bag whatever I've just bought.
I also re-use my shopping bags, mostly to keep stuff dry in my rucksack when it's raining and I'm driving, or in my bin. But I don't re-use them at the rate I acquire them so in 2007 I will try to balance my bag usage and take plastic bags with me to the shops.
Exactly, a lot of people don't care too much about the environment, but are notorious penny pinchers. Hit em in the pocket and they'll soon find alternatives and re-use bags.
To the kithchen bin argument, it is possible to massively reduce what gets thrown by composting and recycling. It is also possible to buy biodegradable bin bags (not an ideal solution I know, but makes a big difference)
It's very simple, the latter group are arses and should not be pandered to! I'm not a tree hugger and one of the worst types of shopper but even I can see the stupidity of putting bananas in bags (Fair trade are the worst for this - what's the ethical consumer to do?). It's a recent phnemonena (sp?!) and no one used to complain, as with everything customer education is required, it wll be a slow process but I guess we can all help with this.
On the bin bags issue. I use bin bags but then tip the contents into the outside bin. Eventually the liner gets smelly and needs to go, but even re-using for three loads reduces bag use by a 1/3. It really helps to rip up all cardboard packing and I slice plastic packaging up with scissors. Bin needs emptying less=less work.
Gradually cut down plastic bag use to virtually zero over the last few years.
yeah, it's amazing how you get stared at if you don't put all your veg into individual little bags at the supermarket. Most odd.
but the thread is good in terms of reminding me that I used to have a bag in my work bag for groceries etc, and I need to do that again. I like the doleful cow-like stares that the checkout staff give you when you say 'no i don't need a bag', as if it's entirely incomprehensible.
encourage them to peel the banana, leave the skin on the shelf, then put the peeled banana in the plastic bag.
Ooh they look really good. It would be good for me cus I could clip it to my key clip in my rucksack. Only problem would be if it's raining and I've bought stuff that needs to stay dry - they aren't waterproof and stuff gets very very wet when you're on a scooter.
I have considered switching from plastic to paper in the shop, but to use bags made from recycled is very expensive and at this stage not realistic.
But if the larger retailers and especilay the supermarkets had presure put on them to use bags made from recylaed paper then possibly the production costs may fall and shops like mine could realisticly use paper.
But plastic bags are only the tip of the iceberg, what about all those polystyrene trays and plastic packaging in the supermarkets?
Thats one reason the Holland house hold DOES NOT use supermarkets, we go to the local butcher, baker and greengrocer. Which more often than not are very competative in price and far superior in quality.
Whats more the local shops are 20 minutes walk or 2 minutes drive where as Morrisons in Harrogate is a 30 mile round trip. How much polution does that cause?
I think people need to look beyond the plastic bags at the check out and start to see the bigger picture.
dinkypen and i get the bulk of our weekly veg through beenies organic veg box scheme.
the packaging consist of a layer of mud and a paper bag usually.
I worked for a small company a couple of years ago. Everybody went to Tescos every day, so collected all their carrier bags and recycled them in the green box back at Tesco. Maybe not ideal, but better than throwing them all away (and easier than trying to persuade everybody to reuse).
I've been a bit slack lately, but sometimes take a rucksack instead using a new carrier.
> Tesco recycle carrier bags in bins outside their stores.
> Buy a strong shopping bag like one of the Ikea ones and use that.
> Bob's yer uncle.
Please don't go to Tescos or the supermarkets for food,for a 70p glass of milk in thier cafes they only pay the dairy famer 4p,dairy famers are going out of buisiness every week because of the hold the supermarkets hae over the food industry,because many now sell milk at a pound a pint they beat the price down which they were paying to the milk producers to be able to do it. If it carries on we'll end up getting our milk from overseas.
Alan:I'll sign up for the bag challenge.
I also re-use the thin little bags for putting your fruit and veg in from the siupermarket, as sandwich bags for taking my lunch to work.
So if anyone buys bin liners for the under the sink bin don't, instead reuse your supermarket carrier bags, if they are biodegradable.
We have newspaper, green waste and plastics/tins kerbside recycling. Although the plastic is proscribed as to what can be recycled. Sometimes the only stuff left for the black regular waste bin is packaging. Oh and can someone tell me why window envelopes can't be recycled - if they can't why are they being used?
bought a couple of "bags for life" when last over in France and use these for shopping
tend not to buy readymeals so not much packaging waste so less bin bags required
also compost as much as I can so again cust down on bin bag space
local authority also run decent recycling (glass/cans/paper) so use this to cut down bing bags
bin bags- only one per week, sometimes one for two weeks
Aye, as Satori says, we get our fruit n veg from the Beanies organic box thingy. But unfortunately, I still have to get the T bags, cereal and other dry goods from somewhere :-(
We still use the big green plastci boxes we got when we used to do the scan & go at the old Safeway. The are great as they fit in your trolley as you go round, fill them up, empty them at the till, then fill them up again.
Nice one Alan for this getting this thread up an running.
For me the bin bag under the sink is a real stickler of a problem and when someone can solve that problem for me i will happily shun all the bags from the supermarket. The main thing is a don’t want to wash the bin out everyday.
In the Smith/Kopp household
On the whole everything that can get recycled or reused ....does. But some issues that seem to thwart any plans to 100% recycle are the carrier bag/bin bag question, Tetra Pack and plastic packaging (meat trays, plastic bottle with no recycling number, foam under tray for Pizza's etc etc)
Although i do get infuriated by the amount of packaging on stuff, it’s the not being able to do anything with it that annoys me more. Our plastic waste doesn’t get picked up by a doorstep collection so that gets taken down to local super market. However they don’t have recycling for all types of plastic so i never know what to do with my meat tray with a number 4 on the underneath. Do i chuck it in the mesh bags hoping the recycling company will take it away? But does this just add to the their costs, which makes it less attractive to run a recycling company. Or do they think "hey we are getting a load of number 4s perhaps we need a new dump bin”
Is anyone actually saying that though? In fact there have already been several contributors to this thread who've talked about using local shops rather than going to the supermarket.
Many council kerbside recycling schemes now take Tetrapacks in with the mixed paper.
I did a bit of research into this and it turns out that numbers 1 to 3 are okay for the recycling bins by the supermarket, anything else isn't. There are supposed to be some special places where you can take numbers 4, 5, 6 and PS but I don't think there are very many of them around. These mostly go out with the general waste in our house since driving around to get to the 'special place' isn't really an eco-friendly option.
Also, you should remove tops and labels if possible.
We don't have a bottle/glass collection which I think is bizarre as they collect just about everything else.
Our local authority has only just woken up to kerbside recycling previously it had one of the worst records in the country for recycling. Although they have now cut collections down to fortnightly, with two lots of collections one week, two the next. It was introduced as the weather turned cold - it will be interesting to see what happens during a heatwave next summer - I should think they'll be quite a 'stink' kicked up in more ways than one!
Fortunately, our bins have not yet been 'chipped'.
Anyway if your LA has done nothing about kerbside recycling get on to them to do something.
I suppose recycling everything you can is a good start.
Bin liners all shapes and sizes and fully 100% biodegradable. Not cheap I suppose but guess it's a trade-off if you don't want to wash out bins too often :)
Re-use bags/bag for life as much as possible. Shop locally if possible (Meat/Eggs etc far better quality) and have milk delivered from local dairy. Recycle everything the council will take (Agree some plastics annoyingly can't be done). Answer to meat tray issue is go to a local butcher.
The biggest advance in reducing waste has been the composter. Got it subsidised by local council, cost me £6 for a 330 litre job see here: http://www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/
I like the idea of unpackaging everything and giving it back to the supermarket on your way out. Although you can't then be assured it will be ethically disposed of I suppose, but it would give you an enourmous sense of smugness
No recycling facilities of plastics at all here, we pay for garden waste disposal such as grass and plant remains and prunings off bushes, which go straight into the normal rubbish collection for landfill.
One thing nobody seems to take, shredded paper. Ok if you compost a lot but no use in a 12ft square garden.
I think its time for a letter to the council...
ATM my shredded paper goes into a bin bag to start it then other stuff put on top so none flying around, and it packs down.
Supermarket people try to put my one bramley, three bananas, leek, etc into seperate bags but they get stopped. Only thing like that are loose tomatoes, local greengrocer takes stuff from the basket as I put them in, no extra bags, and their own bags are stronger than most so get re-used most.
A typical supermarket carrier bag weighs 8g. 290 of them use 2.3 kg of plastic. In terms of hydrocarbon usage this is about equivalent to 3 litres of petrol/diesel.
I am quite sure we could each save a lot more than 3 litres of fuel in a year. I could probably save that much every day.
> Is anyone actually saying that though?
No, I wasn't having a go at people here - more of a general comment.
The sales person then appologised that they didn't have large enough bags to fit my purchase (a large box with carry handle) and offered to tie a small bag to the afforementioned carry handle.
- WTF? needless to say I asked her what was the point and declined the offer.
paper composts ok doesnt it? I would have thought shredded paper would compost quite fast, and as long as you dig it well into your compost heap no ones going to go trawling through that
Here in Galway in the Republic of Ireland, we as you know have a tax on plastic bags which has gone up recently as their use was creeping up again.
We also have seperated rubbish so the process goes as follows.
-Recyclable material goes into paper bags which you get from the shops.
-Food waste goes into biodegradeable bags which are made from potato starch
-Non recyclable waste goes into big plastic bags. This would account for about 5-10% of our waste
In addition we have corpo bring banks for electrical goods or the corpo will pick them up for a small fee if you don't have a car.
Having said that, Galway would be one of the more progressive cities in Ireland with regard to recycling
Just wanted to say bloody good idea, Alan. I'm signing up. I'm crap at this one - I bought some of those reusable bags from the supermarket ages ago, and almost invariably forget to take the damn things to the shops. I will improve.
there is no collection of glass and the nearest bottle bank is a few miles away. surely glass is easiest to recycle?
the thing which does annoy me though is that at school there are only paper recycling bins in the offices. what is the point in this? why not put them in the 100ish classrooms aswell. o and by the way the recycling bins are about 4l in size and are only emptied once every month, therefore people either put up with the paper all over, or throw it in the bin.
Oh, thank goodness it's not just me who's irritated by that!
At least Sainsbury's just stick a bar code straight on them, and you can stick them in your basket with no extra wrapping....... even if they do try and insist on "helping" you pack at the checkout ("No, I don't need the meat in a separate bag, it's fine as it is, thanks. Nor the milk. Yes, the yoghurts can go straight in my rucsac. That's right, with the washing powder. And no, I don't have a car parking ticket. Guess what, I walked here! Yes, with the baby!") Grrrr.....
It will help a little little little bit - so well done I suppose!
However it's a good example of "greenwash" a relatively meaningless gesture that allows us to carry on life as usual with a sop to our conscience. A bit like the scheme to buy a tree to go carbon neutral. Plastic bags are a low volume, low weight item that is pretty insignificant in the scheme of things... a bit like buying a tree to be carbon neutral.
Let's do the math - 6,960,000 bags
at 0.5g each (and I suspect they are lighter)
that's 3480kg or let's round up to 3.5 tonnes
for a landfill that's totally insignificant and for an incinerator likewise...
Now consider that 3480kg across your 24,000 registered users
that's 145g of waste each
now pick up your bin bag and consider its' weight...
Do you still feel virtuous committing to Alan's programme? Gosh you aim low!!!
Why do something meaningful as well?
1. Take one extra trip to a recycling centre this year, that'll save far more energy
2. Or if you're a parent for one week (just one week) use washable nappies and liners rather than disposables you'll free up far more landfill space.
3. Or share one extra car journey this year you'll save more oil and energy than that used making the bags.
They'll all make a much greater difference. Think smart. What can you do that makes the biggest difference? It's not always what campaigners suggest. Plastic bags are great marketing material for the environmental lobby because the numbers sound impressive and it raises profile. The weight/volumes concerned don't justify the effort.
I *hate* greenwash!
And from Alan's post...
Paying for something doesn't change its' environmental cost it just makes you poorer. If the stronger bag uses 5 times more plastic then what difference have you made? Oh that's right - you've made Tesco richer!
(I'm genuinely sorry to rain on your parade Alan. Really. But please consider my points before zapping).
Use your Tesco bags for your bins! I use them to line my kitchen bin and waste paper baskets around the house.
Small guesture or otherwise, I'll be doing this in 07.
> I *hate* greenwash!
> WAKE UP!!!!!
However, if it becomes the instigator of awareness, then it no bad thing, after all "The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step"....
> The problem with this is that I reuse all carrier bags as bin bags. If I didn't accept carriers, then I'd have to buy bin bags, which would be used only once.
If you recycled and composed as much rubbish as you could, you wouldn't need as many bin liners?
I think this is a great idea Alan, don't know why I missed the thread.
Co-op : totally underappreciated stars; their carrier bags have been quick degrading (6 months) for years.
Ultimatly we need to stop being lazy f**ks and start shopping at our local shops instead of big supermarkets, carry a string bag wherever we go, and if we can't re-use then as a last resort at least recycle as much as possible.
As for the mass packaging removal, I've heard of those and would be all up for staging one in my local supermarket. We should agree on a date and have a nationwide packaging removal day. Anyone in?
But consider buying/making a cotton bag that has much lower associated carbon emissions than any plastic bag. They are available from the shop at CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology) and I think they do online ordering.
I think one place to start would be all those wires and krabs etc that one buys with "instructions" etc on them, along with little bits of pointless plastic to hang them on the shelves. Hand all that crap back to the shop. If they won't take it, buy it somewhere else.
CONSIDER ditching any non-natural fibres from your kit- goretex, nylon etc. Cotton and wool are excellent substitutes for many pieces of kit; my knitted Cashmere RPs are probably about as good as the metal ones but I haven't perfected my woolly friends- they're very flexible but don't grip so well on limestone!!???!?
Hemp ropes? No thanks! Better uses for hemp anyway... like clothing or bags! It's dead hard wearing and, again, can be bought from the web, though you may be put off by the overt political references.
Consider buying less. That's easy eh? No "Upgrade" to the phone, no new camera etc (what are you going to do with all these photo's anyway?). Get your boots resoled don't waste money on a new pair 'cos you think they'll help to stick "that smear". Make do with what you have. Consumption is NOT the path to a happy life or harder climbing.
Ask for unpackaged, unsweetened (fairtrade) food at the climbing wall, cafe etc. My local wall used to be a particularly bad example but they're improving.
And if you're not convinced of the necessity watch...
An Inconvenient Truth
These are not commandments, they are ideas to help reduce impact.
So, the best step, according the politicians, is to draw up a "broader policy". i.e. do nothing. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!
So, anyone want to reserve a place on my Ark?
they sometimes look strangely at and throw in the bin!
That's annoying- challenge them and ask them why they've done it?
Attitudes need to change as well as behaviour and policy etc.
> this unnecessary packaging thing... the problem seems to be that on the one hand there's people saying 'we don't want as much packaging' and on the other hand there's people saying 'I want my fruit and veg to be triple packed in plastic to make sure no germs or terrorists-injecting-vials-of-ricin have come near it'...
> what to do, what to do... which way do the big supermarkets (etc) bow in terms of consumer pressure? neurotic or green?
I don't think supermarkets "bow" to pressure all the time. They use advertising to create demand, and change attitudes; it appears to be successful.
The notion that Business is some kind of helpless slave of the whim of the all-powerful consumer is a myth.
Perhaps you could let me know which of the above posters have suggested that carrier bag re-cycling is ALL that we need to do to "save the world". I've had a good look though all of them and couldn't find it...
What really bothers me however is packeing, the amount of this stuff used aimeslly really gets my goat! I had an argument a couple of years ago with a sprayway rep, about the amount they use. At the time far more than any other manufacture we stocked. He told me it was what the consumer wanted, as it stopped things being cressed before they got to the shelf. I told him that I refused to sell there products on the amount of packadgeing they used, and i maintened this approch until i left the job, a year later. If a custormer asked after their products, i told them flat where I thought it came in what ever it was they were after, but my reasons for not reccomending it.
I doub't sparyway have changed their policys on my voice alone, but If we all took this approch, they and everyone else soon would.
> If you recycled and composed as much rubbish as you could, you wouldn't need as many bin liners?
Only your uncooked food waste. If you compost your cooked food waste then you will get rats!
What I do is ride to the shops or supermarket on my bike carrying a rucksac. No need for any bags and its good for you.
I realise it would be harder to do family weekly shop this way but as an individual I can do my shopping for a few days in one trip.
Any bags you do get keep and use them again for something else. If you start to build up a lot of bags it will put you off picking up any more as you don't want them taking up any more space.
If every one made an effort to reduce the number of plastic bags used it would make a difference.
> Only your uncooked food waste. If you compost your cooked food waste then you will get rats!
You can get closed top wormeries for cooked food, which have a tap on the bottom to give you a home made baby - bio type product.
Excellent post Alan, only just seen it.
Idea for use for bags if you do get caught out: keep in jacket pockets for impromptu litter pick ups. One person with three or four bags at a grottified beauty spot can make a huge difference.
I'm doing so crap at this. I don't throw any bags away, and recycle them as much as poss, but I always forget to take them with me to shops. If I'm not buying much I just carry it, but I've still accepted way more bags than I should.
I still haven't used a single plastic bag yet - over 2 months! Woo hoooo! Just thought I'd give myself a pat on the back, especially as it's Friday afternoon and it's been a tough week. Got to feel goood about something. How's everyone else doing?
I am doing fine as well. It is actually pretty easy once you get going, although I did have a dodgy moment when stopping off to do a spot of shopping the other day and realising I didn't have a single bag anywhere. It was quite a juggling act getting 10 small items back home without one.
Also, just got one of these from Rock and Run - http://www.rockrun.com/shop/prod.html?d=17&t=300&p=3254 - which is by far the best lightweight shopping bag I have come across. (You can use it for climbing to).
Since Tescos have introduces their green clubcard points for reusing carriers I see so many more people re-using bags.
I'm not quite as wonderful as you guys, now and again I do use a new carrier, but I am making an effort to find uses for the ones I do take!
I've taken about 5 or 6 bags so far this year, I must try harder! But this is down from the 50 or so it would have been by now in previous years
I have only just seen this thread - missed it in the pre-Christmas haze.
Well done to you for being the first person (after over 20 replies - a bit depressing) to really take it in the spirit it was intended and try to make a difference.
Alan, there are criticisms to be made of every small step in the right direction, trying counts for a lot.
I am starting *now*.
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