Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 102 total)
  • Bags for Life – turns out they are not the answer.
  • Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Glad to see this is getting some traction in the mainstream media

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/28/bags-for-life-making-plastic-problem-worse-say-campaigners

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50579077

    When carrier bags became a chargeable thing plastics experts warned of this but no one listened. The break even point where a plastic bag for life is ‘better’ than a traditional carrier bag is circa 150 uses (and that’s with a conventional carrier bag being considered genuinely single use and not given a secondary function on another shopping trip or around the house). The average household is buying 54 bags for life a year. The sums don’t work.

    So well done us. The aspect that really annoys me most is that in terms of consumer buy in to doing their bit there is a fair chunk of society that now believes that their switch to bags for life is a reasonable contribution to our collective effort and they are doing all they should be expected to. We have used up all that good will being at best eco neutral to the status quo or arguably worse.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Member

    Yeah, I forget mine sometimes and end up buying another couple when I’m in the supermarket.

    I’ve got about 15 at home, and 5 by the door to remind me to take a few with me 🤷‍♂️

    Premier Icon IHN
    Subscriber

    Never mind 70p, they should be a fiver. And it would be good if supermarkets would put out the boxes the goods come in for people to use to stick their shopping in, like they used too (wine boxes for example, are a perfect size and strong enough)

    Premier Icon thegreatape
    Subscriber

    I dunno, my bag for life thinks she knows the answer to everything, and isn’t slow to tell me.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    And it would be good if supermarkets would put out the boxes the goods come in for people to use to stick their shopping in, like they used too (wine boxes for example, are a perfect size and strong enough)

    Morrison’s near me still does this.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    Never mind, at least some companies got to keep the money, it’s not all bad eh. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45355566

    DM52
    Member

    If they actually made the bags for life last ‘for life’ then maybe people would not buy quite so many. Half the problem was introducing the bags as lasting a lifetime by promising they would be replaced when they got damaged, if they just abandoned this middle step entirely and only sold the really solid reenforced bags I think that number would drop substantially.

    I also don’t think this has been a complete waste of time, I believe this shift to re-usable bags has completely changed the mindset of how people shop with a large majority bringing their own bags and a certain naivety to the fact that the bags for life were more damaging in the first place. Until today I was unaware that was the case and if now the ‘correct’ bags were introduced I suspect people would naturally switch over to them as and when the bags for life actually expired.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    You mean people don’t all use those proper hessian ones with a lovely twee little message advertising their favourite local organic grocery or stating just how vegan they are?

    Well they should be doing!

    Premier Icon kcal
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    Local Aldi will set aside and provide boxes. Banana boxes are particularly good for – if not groceries, then moving flats and ‘stuff’.

    Premier Icon convert
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    You mean people don’t all use those proper hessian ones with a lovely little message advertising your favourite organic grocery or stating just how vegan they are?

    As brant mentions above the virtue bags are even worserer.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    We use Sainsbury delivery and they use about 10 of the cheap bags putting various random things in a bag, mainly vacuum packed stuff which doesn’t need one. Completely unnecessary.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    The answer, like everything, is to use less and for longer.

    The War On Plastic had been consumerism-driven – people now have cupboards full of reusable water bottles that they don’t reuse. Buy one good one and keep it forever!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    The break even point where a plastic bag for life is ‘better’ than a traditional carrier bag is circa 150 uses (and that’s with a conventional carrier bag being considered genuinely single use and not given a secondary function on another shopping trip or around the house). The average household is buying 54 bags for life a year. The sums don’t work.

    Not the whole story. It depends on what the bags for life are made of. Woven polypro ones apparently only need something like 10-15 uses before they break even, IIRC. We have some of these bought ten years ago still in use several times a week.

    There was an article recently detailing the break-even point for the different types of bag. It varied hugely.

    However, 150 uses isn’t necessarily a lot. We have many bags that are a decade old and still in use, and will have covered 150 uses already and will cover many more.

    What that article doesn’t mention though is the saving in bags for a few items. When they introduced the 5p charge here in Wales they ALSO changed policy to not offer you a bag unless you asked for it. This means that loads of people buying a few* items simply walk out carrying those items, whereas before they’d have had a bag.

    * or sometimes even more than a few, all stacked precariously in their arms

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    The break even point where a plastic bag for life is ‘better’ than a traditional carrier bag is circa 150 uses

    it literally says FOUR uses in the article you’ve linked to.

    I’m calling bullshit. The Guardian and BBC articles are virtually identical. No-one’s researched this, it’s just a copy paste job. No sources or actual numbers are cited, we are just told what “campaigners” are saying. There is a link from that BBC article to another one (from this year) that says plastic bag use is down 90% and customers are only buying 10 per year.

    Also the article is intentionally misleading. It’s actually about the waste generated by single-use packaging from branded goods (that’s the plastic mountain being referred to) yet the attention-grabbing headline implies it’s all down to bags.

    Premier Icon mrchrispy
    Subscriber

    or do what the Coop do and offer compostable bags

    linky

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    What is the answer then, to getting shopping from the shop to your house/car?

    I so recognize this. I keep 10 bags for life in my car and use a backpack for corner shop trips so my use of single use bags in now zero for actually shopping.

    BUT. I can honestly say before bags for life I never threw a single shopping bag away. They got used for other purposes and ended their lives as bin liners. Since bags for life came along we buy four different sets of bin liners when before we bought just black ones. Because we have to buy bespoke bin liners we’ve awapped to bigger bins so single use bags no longer fit. After all that we still get occasional single use bags – with deliveries etc. Because we’ve stopped using single use bags they accumulate – we must have 75 of the things. They get used at a rate of one every other month on school trips. One day they’ll get thrown away.

    On top of that SWMBO doesn’t keep bags for life in her car so, guess what, most trips she buys new bags for life. (Sometimes because there’s a cool design on sale!) SWMBO regards this as good for the environment because buying bags for life is good, yeah? They are too bulky to keep so they get thrown away in significant numbers.

    I can honestly say we’ve gone from a situation were we never wasted a bag to a situation where we are profligate wasters of bags. …and the bags we’re wasting now are far more substantial than the bags we weren’t wasting before.

    …and don’t even start me on that bloody program about stopping using single use plastic that caused SWMBO to go out and buy a ton of plastic alternatives which were theoretically not single use but we quite obviously going to be single use in practice.

    It seems to me that a significant proportion of the population regard ‘helping the environment’ as a terrific excuse to increase their consumption.

    What is the answer then, to getting shopping from the shop to your house/car?

    Use flimsy bags, but use them a lot and use them as bin liners when you’ve finished using them.

    Or have deliveries, but they often come with single use bags whether you ask for them or not.

    Or do what I do, buy bags for life, and actually keep them in the car and *use* them. Ditto a backpack for bike/foot trips to the corner shop. The problem isn’t bags for life the problem is endlessly buying bags for life. (Of course, even if you do that you end up buying bin liners.)

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    compostable bags

    Compostable bags that don’t compost, can’t be recycled and are a source of microplastics?

    What is the answer then, to getting shopping from the shop to your house/car?

    Half a dozen heavy duty woven polypro bags that you use until they die and then return for recycling? Even better: make more, smaller trips to the shop by bike or on foot rather than using a car.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    What is the answer then, to getting shopping from the shop to your house/car?

    Proper bags for life which you use for years. eg I carry a bag for life I bought about 10 years ago in M&S, always have it on me in my courier bag. Few small holes in it now, but many years of life left in it…

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Most people intend to reuse them but forget to take them, forget to take them out of the car. I know we do, pathetic isn’t it. I heard a great idea on the radio this morning, the supermarkets should have collection points at the store entrances for people to donate the excess bags they bought and those people who’ve forgotten theirs can use them. Not everyone would donate but I reckon we’ve got 20 or 30 we don’t need but feels wrong to chuck away. Easy for the supermarkets to trial, nothing lost if it doesn’t work.

    sharkbait
    Member

    And it would be good if supermarkets would put out the boxes the goods come in for people to use to stick their shopping in, like they used too

    Costco do this. They’ve never offered bags.

    What is the answer then, to getting shopping from the shop to your house/car?

    Use a bag you already have… and if you have to buy a bag make it really expensive – the current 10p is laughable, should be at least £1.

    Premier Icon nwmlarge
    Subscriber

    I happily pay more for full fat coke too, cost is not an issue for consumers.

    johndoh
    Member

    The average household is buying 54 bags for life a year

    Christ on a bike – that’s more than one a week. There are some seriously unorganised people out there. We have around 12 of them (some being used as boot bags / dog stuff bags).

    I heard a great idea on the radio this morning, the supermarkets should have collection points at the store entrances for people to donate the excess bags they bought and those people who’ve forgotten theirs can use them.

    A massive plus one from me. Would SWMBO want to use second hand bags though? I’m not sure. (Which is the problem, the people who think about this stuff are exactly the people who are already doing the right thing and minimizing their consumption.)

    johndoh
    Member

    And it would be good if supermarkets would put out the boxes the goods come in for people to use to stick their shopping in, like they used too (wine boxes for example, are a perfect size and strong enough)

    Morrison’s near me still does this.

    Yup, and my local Sainsbury’s and my local Asda. We don’t have a local Tesco.

    Edukator
    Member

    2 used for horse stuff
    3 used for wood for the wood burner
    1 has DIY tools in
    2 in the boot for when we go shopping in the car
    1 each used for swimming kit (Madame is so fond of hers she had me sew the handle back on when it broke)
    Madame has a nice one as her school bag (this started as a joke and now half the staff use them too)
    3 used for ski kit
    5 in a box near the door for taking shopping on foot or stuffing things in when going out anywhere.

    I’ve thrown 3 away IIRC when they were full of holes, thrown in the incineration bin, I hope that’s right.

    So I think they’re great.

    twinw4ll
    Member

    Plastic bags are a red herring, plastic production is set to increase year on year until the shit finally hits the fan. Most people could help by just buying LESS food, less food fewer bags needed. Bag crisis and obesity crisis in one hit.
    It’s the well meaning tinkerers who are ignorant of the facts and root of the problem getting us even deeper in the shit

    Premier Icon jekkyl
    Subscriber

    I have about 10 and that get used and I never buy more.
    They’re incredibly useful for bike kit, I have a series of bags containing kit that I rumage through to make up the bag I’m taking on that trip, another one for wet kit straight in after the ride, another one for the floor when I change my shoes.

    DrJ
    Member

    The War On Plastic had been consumerism-driven – people now have cupboards full of reusable water bottles that they don’t reuse. Buy one good one and keep it forever!

    Or fish a used Coke bottle out of a bin and give it a wash!

    retro83
    Member

    DrJ

    Or fish a used Coke bottle out of a bin and give it a wash!

    I thought you’re not supposed to do that? Something to do with chemicals being released.

    MrSmith
    Member

    54??
    i sometimes get caught out so probably buy 2-3 a year but have one folded up at the bottom of my bag most of the time or a tote bag, most people have tote bags as you get inundated with them if you go to any events.

    those people who just keep buying them obviously don’t care about waste or the environment.

    Premier Icon dogbone
    Subscriber

    We use Eroski bags (Basque supermarket) as they are more like a slightly smaller Ikea bag. Couple in the back of the car and a couple under the stairs. Great for bike kit too.

    DrJ
    Member

    I thought you’re not supposed to do that? Something to do with chemicals being released.

    Bloody hell – you can’t win !! 🙁

    https://www.thoughtco.com/reusing-plastic-bottles-serious-health-hazards-1204028

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/why-not-re-use-plastic-water-danger-dirty-bacteria-bottles-sex-hormones-toilet-a7809696.html

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Subscriber

    convert

    The break even point where a plastic bag for life is ‘better’ than a traditional carrier bag is circa 150 uses

    From the information I’ve seen, I don’t think that’s correct. I think it is 150 uses for the organic cotton tote bags…
    There’s a similar article on the BBC page that mentions 4 uses for bag for life to be as eco-friendly as the thin traditional ones.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50579077

    I keep about 4 bags in my work messenger back & then if I need to do a shop on the way home, I have bags available. We also generally keep a few in the cars – although this is easier in one as it has little storage nets on either side of the boot.
    The other car doesn’t and the bags end up flying around all over the place, then get taken out.

    I think the bags should be a lot more expensive – at least £1 per bag, probably more.

    kerley
    Member

    What is the answer then, to getting shopping from the shop to your house/car?

    I use Waitrose where they bring the food in crates which I carry into kitchen and unload and give them the crate back

    The supermarkets need to be forced to come up with solutions rather than just charging the consumer.
    Whether that is paper sacks, compostable bags etc,. it needs government to impose what they have to do. For example, no shops can give or sell plastic bags by end of 2020, if they are found doing so it is a £100,000 fine – easy isn’t it.

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    The average household is buying 54 bags for life a year.
    I call balls on that.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I’ve got about 15 at home, and 5 by the door

    Not whoever posted this specifically – but don’t you keep carrier bags (for life) in the car??
    I have about 6 in the car, they’ve been doing the shopping rounds for about 2 years.

    When I don’t use the car to shop I use bike with trailer that has it’s own bag. Or I’ve walked to the shop and used a bag from in the house.
    As I’ve said before on here, the person who serves me always seems surprised that someone actually has a bag with them

    **** hell, this again.

    Bags for life were brought in to stop a litter problem, which they have been very successful at. They are not and never were intended to mitigate climate change. If you think shopping bags are the main climate impact from shopping you should perhaps try taking a peek inside the bag and having a ponder about its contents.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 102 total)

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