Plastic bag use rises in England but loads of us would happily pay 5p per bag

23 August 2012

asdabag_228x276 Buoyed by the inherent message in blockbuster book 50 Shades Of Grey, it seems that English people are happy to be on the receiving end of a good hard spanking in the supermarket as well as in a silly old book.

Our good friends at Which! have done a survey and found that 56% of Englanders would support a charge of 5p per carrier bag when they do their weekly shop, in keeping with the same charge which! already exists in Wales.

The survey was carried out on the back of news that supermarkets handed out almost 400 million more bags last year than they did in 2010, in spite of the fact that we’re all supposed to be becoming more groovy and eco-aware and keen on not killing penguins with our selfish bag-acquiring antics. Pffft….

It seems that EIGHT BILLION plastic bags were given out in England last year. Meanwhile, in Wales, some retailers managed to cut the number of bags handed out by 80%. Nice one Wales.

Some other findings from Which! include…

• Average number of plastic bags in every home in England = 17.

• Consumers who re-use plastic bags = 90%.

• Consumers who say supermarkets don’t encourage us to recycle bags enough = 60%.

• Consumers who created heat-retaining night-suits out of used plastic bags = 55%.

• Made-up statistics in above list = 25%.

TOPICS:   UK News   Supermarket


  • Jack T.
    Which! interviewed morons then. 56% want to pay more - I don't think so. If I can carry my shopping to the check-out in my hands, I don't need a bag. If I can't, then you'd damn well better give me a way to carry it out of the store.
  • Man S.
    Co-op dishes out bio-degradable plastic bags - they don't cause long-term harm to the environment - job done. Why don't all shops follow suit? Why should I pay 5p to increase the supermarket's profits when they do nothing to get rid of the rest of the excess packaging they force on us.
  • Mr. P.
    The supermarkets must be pinching themselves in disbelief. The government actually ENCOURAGING them to take a cost straight off their top line and pass it on to customers, plus a profit. Amazeballs.
  • Lumoruk
    Bio degradable bags are actually worse as they release carbon dioxide as they break down.
  • Sawyer
    I used to work in WH Smith where they charge 1p for a plastic bag. Given the verbal abuse I used to receive when informing customers of the penny charge, I dispute Which?'s findings.
  • Rob
    In WH Smith a penny is ok. In Lidl they should be free. Sainsbury's probably 5p. In Waitrose £10.50 but it comes on wheels with an extendable handle, in a colour to match your BMW.
  • clunge
    We use the carrier bags as bin bags. So either I get a 'free' carrier which I'll then re-use for the rubbish, or I'll have to buy plastic bags (and put them in a 5p carrier) while shopping to take home and use as a bin. Not going to make much difference to the environment either way - I still need bags.
  • kv
    far too much whinging over 5p, over here it's 22 cent (approx 17p)
  • Alexis
    When you use the self service checkouts on the rare occasion I go to M&S it asks how many bags you want. Just press zero and you're fine.
  • Brian
    You see we have it all wrong in this country. It's too much stick and too little carrot. Look at Councils who will fine you for putting your rubbish in the wrong recycling bin. What we need are incentives to recycle rather than fines. If we were to get more money back for re-using bags that would increase the use of recycling old bags more effectively than charging for new ones.
  • Bloke
    People are happy to pay 5p to advertise someone's company for them? I might, maybe, pay for a bag with no name and logo, but that's a bit much. Why not use strong paper carriers?
  • Marky M.
    That'll be the day when I pay for a carrier bag. They all get re-used as bin liners so that's my bit done for the planet. Thank God that charities also put plenty of free plastic bags though my door.
  • Whisky
    Re charity plastic bags, I get 1 -2 a day on average. How many fucking clothes do they think I have?
  • leeisgod
    Fucking macdonalds in Wales charge 5p for a paper bag, cunts
  • Andrew M.
    Hi there, We sell carrier bags. At the end of the day it seems that the customers are looking at things from the environmental point of view as well as just thinking about Money.. More and more of our customers are buying paper carrier bags... There is a law to charge in Wales now isn't there? Andrew

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