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Beat the plastic bag charge - Top ten bags for life

Chaos decended (well, according to a certain paper) in England as they joined Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in charging shoppers 5p per plastic bag in all supermarkets and most high street shops.

You'll still get a free bag if you're buying raw meat, poultry or fish, prescription medicine, certain fresh produce such as flowers or potatoes, and unwrapped ready-to-eat food such as chips. But you'll need a bag for all your other bits and bobs - and if you're not sitting on a gold mine or wanting to nick a basket from Tesco - you might want to invest in a chic durable bag for life so you can hit the shops in style.

Luckily, we can help you out on that one - here are our top ten stylish bags for life. You can also join the discussion here.


Julien MacDonald bag for lifeJulien Macdonald Bag for Life, £2.50, in Asda stores

This glamorous tote has been designed by Julien Macdonald especially for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 89p from each bag sold will go to Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care.

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teapot bag fortnum and masonTeapot Bag for Life, £6.95, Fortnum & Mason

Decorated with silver teapots and china teacups on a background of eau de nil, this elegant and sturdy Fortnum's bag will carry your shopping for many years to come.

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doodlebugz bag


DoodleBugz, £4.99, Notonthehighstreet.com


A hot pink tote that reads "Love Me Love My Dangerously Expensive Shopping Habit." A fun way to get yourself noticed down the aisles.

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cath kidson bagWinter Rose Open Carry all bag, £26, Cath Kidston

A lightweight, floral carry-all bag carrying books, groceries and other extras, with a neat little slip pocket for those loose receipts.


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sea salt jute bagBirds Jute Shopper, £5 (selected bags two for £8), Seasalt

Made from 100% jute, Seasalt have a lovely range of arty designs, which comes in three different sizes.

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Tillyanna, £14, Notonthehighstreet.comChristmas tote bag

Feeling festive? Bring your Christmas cheer to the shops - or use as an alternative to wrapping paper this year - with this personalised Christmas jute bag.

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radley tote bagRadley Spot On Tote Bag, £16, John Lewis

Keep your essentials close to hand in this funky tote bag from Radley.


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banned books bagBanned Book Tote Bag, £14.99, Foyles

50 banned books scattered across this tote bag, in celebration of Banned Books Week. 

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procook zebra bagProCook Jute Bag For Life Zebra, £1.99, Amazon

An eco-friendly bag with a snazzy zebra print design. With each purchase 50p is donated to MacMillan.


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personalised bagBig Stitch, £58, Notonthehighstreet.com

If you're looking to make your bag a bit more personal and don't mind splashing the cash, this fab jute bag can be embroidered with your grandchild's drawing.

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