5 October 2015

If you listen to most of the media today, you may well believe that all supermarkets are to be avoided for fear of being caught up in the carnage of ‘Plastic Bag Chaos’.

plastic bags

One of the front pages to hit the shelves today.

Despite several huge news stories across the globe, the UK is today engrossed in the news that supermarkets in England are to charge 5p per plastic carrier bag from now on.

Never underestimate the power that the British tabloid media has to whip up a frenzy about nothing. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales already have this charge in place – Wales has since as far back as 2011. Yet for England, social media and the tabloid news are filled with panic-fuelled warnings that confused shoppers are set to cause long queues and cashier chaos.

But let’s look at the bigger picture here. Why is the charge coming into place? The charge has been brought in in the hope that we’ll use sustainable bags or reuse the plastic ones we already have – let’s face it most homes have a bag of carrier bags stashed away somewhere!

Will you remember to take your own when you go to the supermarket? If you do a big family shop, I would estimate that’s around 20 carrier bags which is only an extra £1 on a potential £150+ shop. To me that doesn’t seem too much of an incentive when you consider the reason behind the change.

We’ve been talking for too long about the damage we are doing to the planet and, whilst it is encouraging to see some action being taken, I can’t help but ask is it enough?

I am incredibly aware of the impact that hosting has on the environment, it’s an invariably power hungry industry. That’s why we offset our carbon, use green energy and have been looking into producing our own energy for quite some time. But what are we each doing about it personally?

Next time you go to the supermarket, will you spend the 5p per bag and hurt your pocket and the environment, and perhaps kick up a fuss too; or will you make the change to friendlier options? It is easier said than done in a busy life but it’s these small changes – like turning off the lights or reducing the heating – that could protect our planet for generations to come.

What do you think of the charge? Is it enough to make an impact?

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