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Do you pay 5p for a plastic bag or take your own?

The 5p charge on carrier bags is set to be extended under plans to tackle the “throwaway culture” in a 25-year Environment Plan being published later this week.

Corner shops and other retailers with fewer than 250 employees are currently exempted from the charge in England, but Theresa May and Michael Gove will set out plans for the levy to cover almost all plastic bags.

Prime Minister Mrs May said she wanted her Government to take a stand against the “profligate” use of natural resources as she briefed her Cabinet about the plan.

At the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Mr Gove told colleagues that the introduction of the 5p charge on single-use plastic bags had contributed to a reduction of nearly 90% in their use, in a clear demonstration of what can be achieved by targeted official action.

What are your views? Since the introduction of a charge for a plastic bag, are you much more likely to take your own bag shopping with you or are you happy to spend 5p on a plastic bag? Has the charge made you more aware of the environmental issues?  What more do you think the government should be doing to help save the environment?

Do you pay 5p for a plastic bag or take your own?

244 people have already voted, what's your opinion? I pay 5p for a bag I take my own shopping bag

What are your views?

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ArthurB4
13th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
surely people should keep at least one shopping bag in the boot of their car.
Carrier bags should be banned end of.
They are a huge litter problem and cause untold harm to wildlife.
RosannM
12th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I try to remember to take a bag with me but sometimes I do forget and have to buy one. The plastic bags that the big stores issued were biodegradable and I used to use these as bin liners but now they are not (or maybe they are and just don't fall apart like the old ones) The majority of smaller stores did not use biodegradable (some do use paper) and yet they were the ones that were allowed to use them without a charge Surely the wrong way round. I now have to buy bin liners, more plastic and I don't expect they degrade like the old carrier bags did. Make all carrier bags biodegradable and make more use of paper bags, this could be difficult in supermarkets but for the majority of stores, there is no reason why you cant use paper, no one seems to worry about paper bags at Primark. Bring back glass bottles too instead of plastic.
Fruitcake13
12th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I always take my own bags and have done since long before the charge for plastic bags started.
sparrer
12th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I take my own home-made fabric bags. If you're not a sewer see youtube for a tutorial on how to make a bag from an old tee-shirt, no sewing involved. Charging to advertise a shop on a bag doesn't sit well with me any more than people wearing designer labels on the outside of clothes (which I don't). Why wait until 2040 to eliminate avoidable plastic waste? There are so many ways of living a normal life without it, without killing off even more land and sea creatures. Manufacturers should only be allowed to produce biodegradable plastics which break down in months instead of the years it takes for most types. Giving them a year to change their machines etc should be more than enough time.
jeanmark
12th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I understand your sentiments but it is a 25 year plan, they are not waiting until 2040 before doing anything. They have already started on some areas. Have you seen the Marine Conservation Plastic Challenge? This certainly demonstrates how hard it is to go plastic free in our daily lives and identifies the difficulties in avoiding all plastic. www.mcsuk.org/plastic-challenge/
1BA
12th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I always take my own bags out shopping, and have now trated myself to a shoping trolley. When I was growing up people always had their own shopping bags, and would sometimes be given brown paper carry bags with their products. It is high time manufactures and people stopped using them. Same with drinks containers I would tax them not popular , use more glass bottles. I buy my milk in glass bottles, I recycle as much as possible and have stopped purchasing from companies whose packeaging I cannot recycle. My biscuit wrappers, spray guns from cleanerss and rooler balls from deorderants are all sent to Terra Cycle who reclye them and give me points which I donate to charity, they even come and pic them up as your house . It is about time people understood that each generation are the cartakers of this planet and we should look afterit. Not abuse it because we are too dam selfish to do the right thing
viking
12th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Some years ago whilst in Florida, I noticed that the big supermarkets gave the customer large brown paper bags. At the time in the UK supermarkets were throwing the plastic bags at every shopper. The American ones were over printed with directions to the nearest storm shelters. I thought how weird to use the old fashioned brown paper bags for your shopping.
Did they know something that we did not know about at that time ??
Possibly, what goes around comes around.
Darkstar
12th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
As always , another form of tax for the consumer, but nothing being done to the manufacture or the supermakets. I was a manager to a major retail company, and our biggest outlay in stationary was carrier bags. So not supplying them is a big money saver, and you are paying 5p to advertise the company.
mogsy123
12th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
instead of charging for a plastic bag,should shops not adopt the idea of a paper bag? Some shops do. It would be more environmentally friendly rather than still make the plastic bags and charge for them. It is a virtual slap in the face to anyone buying them. It is also rather stupid to expect you to either buy another bag if you are shopping for both food and none food items as you do in a modern supermarket. Who wants to put cleaning items, clothes, fragile items in the same bag as their food shopping?
Colinhuttley
12th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Always took my own bags even before the 5p levy.
Irene88
12th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
So did I - plastic ones were rubbish anyway.
Alicia
12th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Always take my own bags, they are in the car and one in my handbag too.
VivetteH
12th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I think the situation has got worse because people are buying bags for life which are thicker and throwing them away now, the ideal bag would be one that’s biodegradable and that goes for packaging also.
JaneD12
12th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I do now take my own bags and agree to extend the 5 p charge but I think more pressure should be put on manufacturers to make sure their goods are made from or packaged in sustainable or recyclable materials it’s them that should be taxed not the consumer who sometimes has no choice
AnneF72
12th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
It’s high time we stopped manufacturing plastic and found an alternative. Brown paper bags for groceries, re-usable glass bottles and drinking coffee at home before leaving for work or at work from a mug. No need to drink coffee “on the go”.
big mamma daisy
11th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I always have my own bags when I go shopping. I grudge paying for a plastic bag which is likely to split before I get home. The only time when I would like a bag is when buying clothing. I try and always have a clean bag with me for any unexpected purchases. Surely when buying clothing a free paper bag would be appropriate.
JeanS5
11th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I now bring my own bags just as I did thirty/forty odd years ago, when my children were small. Somewhere in between we switched to plastic bags with more supermarkets opening in the area. The difference now is that I shop usually once a week whereas, when the children were small, I usually shopped every day, buying everything fresh from the butcher, the baker, the grocer, and having my milk delivered. I only needed one bag usually. Now I bring half a dozen large bags with a few in my handbag for extras. I actually prefer to use my own bags as they are much stronger.
Kes
11th Jan 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
Why are these bags still being manufactured? Stop them being made by companies, and offered by shops.
I remember, way way back, that M&S used to put your purchase into a branded paper bag. Why did that stop?
The solutions to all the plastic problems and over packaging is not rocket science. Yes, the public can make a huge difference, of course they can, and quite easily, however, the industry, globally, needs to stop shirking it’s responsibility for causing the problems in the first place.
RonC3
11th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Should be 50 pence that would make more people think twice also get the supplier to make better use of plastic After all they are the main culprits
vick
11th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I don't like paying to advertise a shop bags should be plain
Lionel
11th Jan 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
We take our own bags!

But in the matter of massive waste plastic surely the state is starting with the monkey and not the organ grinder. It's no use whipping the consumer when manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are to blame for this sea of waste plastic. We have no choice in the matter.

Take Aldi, for example. Everything on sale is pre-packed. Consumers must dispose of that packaging. Stores have refused to accept back their packaging when I've offered it to them. Thus the consumer has no choice.

A couple of years ago a new fridge arrived in so much packaging, broken into shreds it filled our 80 litre recycle bin. I could go on ...

I heartily agree with Viking, there is a price to pay for sustaining our bloated Western civilisation. Perhaps we should learn from E.F. Schumacher - Small is Beautiful, or to put it another way, less is more.

Just as an after thought ... a few weeks ago I invested in a new Gillette razor from Morrisons. The clear, resilient packing couldn't be cut by kitchen scissors; I tried garden shears ... nope! It took a bolt cutter with 4' arms to get in!! Is that necessary, because I needed all these extra tools just to get a shave?
jeanmark
12th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
One of the advantages of 'scan as you shop' is that you can avoid a lot of the plastic wrappings on things like fruit and vegetables, I take my own paper bags to place these items in believing every little helps.
Cymraes44
11th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I carry a rucksack and have a few cloth bags in there.
viking
11th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I would not buy a 5d plastic bag unless caught out by not having my own fabric bag with me.
Being a cynic I foresee that there will be a change over in shopping bags to bamboo/hessian/plaited vine leaves etc. etc. The crunch will then come in years to come when the devastating news breaks that forests have been denuded to supply these materials to make shopping bags !!
Which ever way you turn in this modern world, there is a price to pay in trying to keep our planet intact.
ugnob
11th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Don’t like paying for a bag !!!
Wilf
11th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I am in the habit nowdays of taking a small plastic bag with me everywhere mainly to pick up litter which I get really annoyed at. It also comes in useful if I do go to a shop or garage to put multiple items in there (although not with the litter!)
Lionel
11th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Wilf I entirely agree with you about litter. Every time I've stayed in Czech Republic it's cleanness, it's wholesomeness has so impressed me.

There was no litter on the streets, none to be seen in hedge rows, no chewing gum or fag ends to be stepped on. They are, or were before the EU, a clean people, quite unlike those now inhabiting this island.

In Slovenia in 2001 people took a jug or wine bottles to the local off licence to have them re-filled. Again, no evidence of litter on streets or in countryside.

There's almost no traffic on the single track road on which I live. Yet almost daily I collect litter, including used doggy bags and children's nappies, from the common land in front of the house. Someone threw 12' of 4" bamboo pole in our garden. Dogs loved it, as they did playing tug of war with a condom.

We see so few vehicles, so where does it all come from? That bamboo pole didn't float in on the wind.

We have become the dirty man of Europe and I'm ashamed.
Wilf
11th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree lionel most of the roads are covered in litter, the beaches are, the cities are. What is the matter with people? I just do not get it. In Switzerland there is no litter-now what makes the average Swiss different than the average Brit. They respect their enviroment thats what. Mind you in places like India where we went once many years ago the place was full of litter. i dont think they even had rubbish collection! how crazy is that?
Lionel
11th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
My father, who was in the merchant navy for many years, told me about Indian port cities. A clean living, self respecting man, he was revolted by the filth he saw. Streets were open sewers with the odd foetus floating down. I'll stop there.

During Spring, Summer and Autumn my wife and I venture to the sea side twelve miles away. Southwold, an up market former fishing port beloved of the well heeled with attitude. By midday day the few streets look like an urban slum; the beach is littered with rubbish. We made it to the end of the pier this year to see a seventh wave taking out to sea a long line of detritus. That will be deposited somewhere.

A mile or so away from Southwold is Easton Bavents. Wikipedia shows a picture of the cliffs. My wife and I have seen tipper trucks dumping industrial waste into the sea from there.

Churchill quoted Shakespeare's Richard the Second when he referred to this island as being a 'sceptred isle, the royal throne of kings.' It's no longer the royal throne of kings and most certainly is not a sceptre isle.

Oh, what have we done?
Wilf
11th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
What we have done and are doing is destroying this beautiful earth with debris like some parasitic lifeform. We will loook back in 500 years unable to believe we were so filthy and also so numerous. Shame we will not be around to see the earth flower again
mogsy123
12th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree. I remember the days when our local 'off licence' either shop or outsales counter in a pub allowing you to take a jug or bottle to be filled with beer, cider, sherry. Same with ice cream van - you could take a dish to be filled. Plastic convenience has wiped the sensible ways away.
Agatha
11th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
People should be proud to be able to help clean up the planet
Something as simple as re using shopping bags should be on the list
scandiman
11th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
With desperately important things that need to be dealt with in this dirty and overcrowded country, surely this is something to be left to a junior minister? Still, I expect it’s easier to deal with than say the NHS, transport, mental health etc. It makes Mrs. May look as if she’s doing something. Simplest answer-shops provide paper bags. Thick paper cups in coffee shops, or take your own.
susannewton
11th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I take my own bags shopping , I have done for a lot longer than I needed to , or should
I say " forced to" there is still far to many plastic bags about , i use fabrics bags that can be washed and reused for years .
There is also to much packaging used these days on wrapping food that doesn't need wrapping , it all adds to the cost , let's get back to washing our own food before we use it and less packaging please .
Yodama
10th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Although I do not buy plastic bags anymore, ( I have about five million in a cupboard) I do tend to leave my cloth bags at home or in the car. Getting there though, I do at least have them in the car even if I forget to take them into the shop. Takes time to teach a monkey new tricks.
I remember supermarkets used to place empty boxes at till ends, very useful, why don't they do that anymore?

In a few months time, I expect to be fully trained to take my bags into the shops with me. Perhaps plastic bag aversion therapy should be introduced.
Just a thought, why are supermarkets still selling bags for 5 and 10p when they used to be free, not a deterrent in my view, Stop making them, full stop.
Pam1960
10th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I take my own bags. It did take me a while to get used to it but it is now second nature.
GlendaS15
10th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I always take my own and as my Daughter bought me a lovely bag for shopping I will be using that.
jeanmark
10th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I always take my own. I have seagrass bags specifically for weekly supermarket shop and always carry two fold-up bags in my handbag and have done for years.
scandiman
10th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Really can’t see why shops can’t provide paper bags of different sizes. If we’re really that worried about pollution and excessive energy use, turn off the blazing lights in government offices. I have noticed lots of lights on in empty buildings in London.
Woottonm
10th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
When doing my main supermarket shop always take my own bags but do to try to keep a folding shopping bag with me but I am not always successful.

New Years resolution - Will try harder
kentrix39
10th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
Have taken my own bags for many years now.
MrsPat
10th Jan 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
I always take my ownm shopping bags and even more now days. In fact quite often when asked do I want a bag if I have not got one with me I will struggle rather than have a plastic bag. We do all need to save the enviroment. Use of them is only down by half we need to get it to 1% of what it was.
Marley444
10th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I think we have just about tipped the balance of development vs destruction. For years we have been developing this throw away society thinking we were making a positive change to the world, and now it has come round to bite us quite dramatically. All the disposables goods that have been manufactured and wasted and now we are set to turn full circle and recreate the past. Will we ever learn?
Marley444
10th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I always intend to take my own shopping bag, and do get really frustrated with myself when I forget! I hate paying for a plastic bag and many times I have done a balancing act with my groceries when I have forgotten one!
MrsPat
10th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I am the same and hate even buying plastic bags now. Its such a waste. I take my own shopping bags everywhere-so much easier as well.

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