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Science/nature/environment

The average household buys 54 bags for life every year.

(99 Posts)
M0nica Thu 28-Nov-19 08:35:13

They are being used like the old one use bags. As a result supermarket consumption of plastics is still growing no matter how much they are cutting use in other areas. This was a news item on the radio this morning.

Yesterday I watched a clip suggesting that using cloth bags is more damaging for the environment than plastic because a cloth bag must be used 131 times before the emissions used growing the cotton, making the bag etc is the equivalent to making that number of thin plastic bags. The person making the clip obviously thought that the chances of anyone using a bag that often was beyond belief or possibility. It struck me as being quite reasonable.

I have still got every cloth bag I have ever been given, not all are used for shopping, they are used for all kinds of other purposes around the house and garden.

Why is it that so many people, especially younger people, do not 'get it' when it comes to reducing plastic use and would rather buy a bag for life every week, than have a shopping bag in a pocket or bag. So many of them walk round with great big sports bags and rucksacks, and a cloth, bag or one made from recycled bottle bag takes up so little space.

aggie Thu 28-Nov-19 08:38:40

I have been using the fold up cloth bags for at least 9 years , they lurk in the bottom of my hand bag , various in size and are washed with the weekly clean up

Calendargirl Thu 28-Nov-19 08:42:18

It’s because they can’t be bothered to plan ahead Monica. It will not be cool to have a bag inside a pocket or rucksack, just so much easier to get a fresh one at the checkout. Also the odd 10 or 20p it costs means nothing.
Before anyone jumps on saying how busy everyone is with jobs, childcare, household etc., it doesn’t take much effort to pop a bag or two in alongside the credit card or phone. They never forget to take said phone with them.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 28-Nov-19 08:44:47

Wicker baskets is the way to go🙂

A totally natural product, little energy in their production and will go on the compost heap when broken(well they need mashing up of course)

I have 3, and have had them for donkeys years - they will see me out.

rubysong Thu 28-Nov-19 08:46:07

Someone must be buying loads of them as we have only ever bought one or two. I have several though as people bring things to me sometimes in them, (apples, fabric to make panto costumes etc.). I currently have one folded up and secured with a rubber band in my handbag. I have been using it for about four years and it has been mended with gaffer tape. Lidl are banning them in Wales as an experiment.

Calendargirl Thu 28-Nov-19 08:49:38

I do wonder who is buying an average of one bag a week, as at my local Tesco, the vast majority of shoppers all seem to have their own bags with them. It must be the impulse buyers surely.

PamelaJ1 Thu 28-Nov-19 08:51:48

I do understand that forgetting your bag is entirely possible.
I don’t do it now but I used to. Why don’t supermarkets encourage us to put our spare bags in a bin at the entrance.
Then if people forget they can borrow one.
I know this isn’t the perfect solution but it may help.

Pantglas2 Thu 28-Nov-19 08:52:12

So so true M0nica! I’ve had my sacking bags for 20 years at least and they live in the boot of the car along with a padded freezer bag from Lidl which must be 25 years old.

Every hand bag I possess (a dozen) also has a couple of plastic bags for life (years old) to be used if I’m on the bus. I can usually find one lurking in my coats and jacket pockets as well.

I get laughed at when I hand out bottle bags at Christmas because everyone knows I recycle those as well, simply replacing the tag!

loopylou Thu 28-Nov-19 08:59:52

I have to confess to occasionally having to get yet another bag for life because I have either bought more than I intended or because I have forgotten to put one or two plus my little cloth bags back in my handbag.
However, I do use the battered and torn ones as growbags for potatoes and carrots and they're used until they're literally in tatters.
I use hessian shopping bags for big shops and two very tough bags bought 9 years ago in an Italian supermarket that seem invincible!

eazybee Thu 28-Nov-19 09:06:10

I haven't bought a plastic bag of any sort since the ban came in, because I deeply resent paying 5/10p for them. I have a collection of wicker, cotton and old pvc coated bags everywhere, except in my pocket whenIneed them. Arms and pockets are useful too.

Teetime Thu 28-Nov-19 09:08:44

Have just received breakfast lecture from DH on the same! hmm.

MawB Thu 28-Nov-19 09:19:21

I have cloth bags like other people have wrinkles -and I have had them going back 20 years!
I have jute bags, roll up nylon bags, and yes, a couple of “bags for life”
Where do they get these “statistics” from?

Whitewavemark2 Thu 28-Nov-19 09:38:38

Highly recommended😄

shysal Thu 28-Nov-19 09:42:37

My daily walk in the mornings takes me in the direction of Asda on the outskirts of my village. Every day I pick up plastic bags which have obviously been thrown out of cars. Depending how filthy they are I will either place in a litter bin or add to my home recycling. Today I even found a supermarket plastic basket and two of the woven plastic long life bags. I returned the basket to Asda and took home the bags to disinfect and re-use.
I have used my own shopping bags since I got married over 50 years ago, and to date have never found myself without!

tanith Thu 28-Nov-19 10:04:15

I have had the same bags for years and a collection of canvas bags in the kitchen, pockets of coats and in the car I very rarely forget to take one in the shop.

TerriBull Thu 28-Nov-19 10:12:40

I always try to remember to take our own bags with me to the supermarket, it's a fairly ingrained habit now, even if we are away in Britain I will have a couple in the car should we do any impromptu shopping. "Bags for life" once they get too well worn can be exchanged for a new ones, hence the self explanatory name, I'm wondering if everybody is aware of that, can't help noticing some people do still turn up without bags and then buy a few. The couple of times I've forgot, I've just shoved everything back in the trolley once I've paid for it, take it out to the car, load it in the boot and then when I get home get my bags from the house and pack my shopping to carry in. I do have a couple of nice hessian bags I should really use, I keep my library books in one, it's become my go to bag for that purpose.

Greeneyedgirl Thu 28-Nov-19 10:14:12

I see many in M&S with clothing in new plastic bags, perhaps because they are a) clean or b) an impulse buy, or both. Many clothing shops give out paper bags but I understand they use far more energy to make than plastic and are often single use.

It's probably better to stop buying clothes smile

TerriBull Thu 28-Nov-19 10:20:24

The wicker basket is indeed lovely, very Red Riding Hood, and further to Monica's comments about young people not being so savvy about reusing their bags, sorry to be ageist, but yes I do notice that. In their defence maybe they have more on their minds than retirees who do seem to be the ones who have their bags at the ready. Back to the basket, as attractive as it is, somehow can't see my two sons turning up at the supermarket with anything like that anytime soon.

mrsgreenfingers56 Thu 28-Nov-19 10:32:13

I spent a lot of time in Germany going back 30 plus years ago and they were hot on not using plastic bags and kerb side recycling which we had never heard of over here.

Hence I have not used a plastic carrier bag in all those years and proud of the fact. I have an assortment of shopping bags in both cars and use them constantly. Some have been in use for at least 9 years, and it just work.

Wicker basket shoppers are nice but hardly big enough to put the full supermarket shopping in and they are not foldable. I do have one though that I bought one the doorstep years ago when the blind people used to call with their wicker wares and it has a hard base so excellent for bottles.

Callistemon Thu 28-Nov-19 10:47:12

I have kne of those whitewave, DD used to take it to school for cookery as it was better for carrying home cooked dishes. However, it has lurked under the stairs for years, probably has old balls of yarn in it. I must investigate.

Yes, I have loads of cloth bags from various places including a nice one from the first place to ban plastic bags - Modbury.

absthame Thu 28-Nov-19 10:51:53

I carry 4 bags for life in my car so that I don't have to use bags supplied by clothing stores or for other purchases.

I recently change that needs sorting is that Boots now put my medication in a heat sealed plastic bag rather than in a paper bag. 1 step forward many backwards

JaneA Thu 28-Nov-19 10:59:21

Whitewavemark2 Your basket is like mine. I have 4, various shapes and sizes. Love them.

Dublin29 Thu 28-Nov-19 11:00:00

@calendar girl. You’ve hit the nail on the head, people keep making excuses for so many things. Most of us (especially females, as we do most food & other shopping) realise life is busy & many companies get us to do work that was done by them years ago.

I have one prime example of this reusing bag habit & I promise I’m not being mean. I have been involved/helping a local “holiday hunger/free packed lunches scheme”in a poor part of my city. As well as the lunches, we work with something called “Food Hub” who collect “best before”/ short dated, edible food. We would then have a table where the parents on a (first come first served basis) could take bread & other items home.

Keeping in mind we started this scheme in the 2018 summer holidays & have done Easter, Christmas & now a second summer & a half term. We did Monday-Friday (covering for what they would have as free school dinners) & asked parents to bring their own bags. We did have some plastic ones from Morrisons (their old ones) but obviously harder to get now. The number of regular parents who rarely brought bags & they’re being given food free too! Yet, they had phones & other things with them. I felt I couldn’t say anything, but was so tempted to😰😭

Craftycat Thu 28-Nov-19 11:22:24

I have just paid 30p for a lightweight vegetable bag from Sainsburys. I got all my loose veggies in it & it is well made & will last a long time- probably see me out!!
The 2 bags for life that I have been using for ages still going strong. I cannot see I will ever need to buy another so no problem.

Craftycat Thu 28-Nov-19 11:26:53

Just a thought- a couple of years ago when I was unable to drive following a broken bone in foot I had to get shopping delivered ( DH would have come back with whiskey, wine & chocolates but not meat & veg!) & I was amazed at how many bags were used for my delivery.
Does anyone have their shopping delivered now & have the supermarkets now stopped this or do they still send items sometimes only one to a bag?