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News » WAB Debate


Charging For Carrier Bags - A WAB Debate

Monday June 9 2014




PLASTIC bags in supermarkets will cost 5p from October 2015 in a bid to reduce the amount we use. What do you think to this? Will it make you start to re-use your old carrier bags? Have your say below.

Many free bags end up as litter and are harmful to the environment, however smaller retailers will be exempt from the charge to prevent imposing burdens on less established businesses.

In 2012, more than seven billion single-use bags were handed out in English supermarkets, so it is hoped a downward trend in reducing this figure will follow.

Wales, whose own scheme has reduced its carrier bag use by 75 per cent since the changes came in, has shown it can work, with Scotland now set to follow.

What do you think? Will the charge put you off? Is it a good idea? Have your say below.

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Reply Posted by jenny on Monday June 9 2014 at 14:48
i reuse plastic carrier bags anyway but my parents get groceries delivered by Asda every week and they come packaged in plastic carrier bags, they don't mind paying but Asda have a bad habit of putting individual items in individual plastic carrier bags, so are my parents going to charged for carrier bags that have one item in them when they should be filled up?

Reply Posted by baghead on Monday June 9 2014 at 15:11
yes that what it states. 5p for a carrier bag. Asda will be quids in.

Reply Posted by Julie on Tuesday June 10 2014 at 06:10
Who benefits from the 5p, is it the government or supermarket? If its the former than it's another hidden tax in the guise of forcing us to be green when it is already well known that the plastic carrier bags supplied by supermarkets are biodegradable. I use mine as bin liners for that reason like a lot of other people do. Ergo, if I use a box or reusable carrier bag then I will have to buy (which we have to pay VAT on) bin liners which end up er....being dumped! At the end of the day it is another way to get money out of the consumer!

Reply Posted by dedatodd on Tuesday June 10 2014 at 10:18
I reuse these bags for various things, however if this cost is used as per M&S and towards environmental issues then its got to be a good thing surely? If this is another new tax, then the obvious answer is don't pay the money and use more sturdier, longer lasting bags.
We shouldn't be 'forced' to go green it should be as matter of course, like it or not we (humans) are messing up our environment and as such need to change our ways.
Its also worth noting that not all supermarkets use biodegradable materials for there carrier bags, maybe that should have been part of this new law!

Reply Posted by dedatodd on Tuesday June 10 2014 at 10:18
I reuse these bags for various things, however if this cost is used as per M&S and towards environmental issues then its got to be a good thing surely? If this is another new tax, then the obvious answer is don't pay the money and use more sturdier, longer lasting bags.
We shouldn't be 'forced' to go green it should be as matter of course, like it or not we (humans) are messing up our environment and as such need to change our ways.
Its also worth noting that not all supermarkets use biodegradable materials for there carrier bags, maybe that should have been part of this new law!

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Monday June 16 2014 at 10:16
Not all supermarkets use biodegradable bags.
The Co-op were the first to introduce bio degradable carrier bags years ago, however, recent test conducted in Germany suggest that the co-op bio degradable bags aren't as bio degradable as they seem to be...

The primary material used in carrier bags is polyethylene ( PE ) which is an oil derivative but bags carrier bags these days use a "composite" granule mix of various elements.

Compared to the thick bags in the 70's todays "new" thin style carrier bags use almost 70% less PE.

The thicker "bag for life" is almost 100% PE so people buying them and thinking they are doing their bit for the environment is a bit of a misnomer really.

I know this as I used to work in the industry until a few years ago.


Reply Posted by Luke on Tuesday June 10 2014 at 10:58
Introduce environmentally paper bags like they have in America. Use these as the standard. If the consumer wishes to upgrade, charge them 5p for a plastic bag.

Reply Posted by Mick on Tuesday June 10 2014 at 11:05
This is long overdue. Re-usable bags that will last for months or years cost very little. It's also good that the money isn't going to the retailer or the govt. It is all going to charities.

Reply Posted by Observer on Tuesday June 10 2014 at 13:22
This is a good idea but 40 years too late. Why dont we ablish plastic bags per say. Go back to the old brown paper ones. This is recycable stuff.

Reply Posted by Donna on Friday June 13 2014 at 11:51
I get shopping delivered by ocado, they take back the bags on the next shop. No hassle, no waste and they reuse/ recycle them.

Reply Posted by Taimi on Thursday April 14 2016 at 05:28
You're on top of the game. Thanks for shgianr.