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As anyone who's watched a baby unwrap a gift will know, it's often the wrapping paper - rather than the gift inside - that will attract the most attention from the baby. And an email I received this week revealed to me that I too, am guilty of having been distracted by the 'wrapping paper' and thus have not examined the contents as closely as I should have done...
Yes - the Government's announcement that it will impose a levy on single use plastic bags given out by larger stores and supermarkets pleased me so much that I didn't look closely enough at what was being said and it was only when Ciaran Gillen, from BioFuture in Dublin, questioned the amount of money being levied and the way the scheme is going to work, that I reconsidered.
You can read Ciaran's email below and once you have done, you may well agree with us that a 5p charge isn't enough by any means to seriously persuade people to carry their own bags with them if there's a chance that they might shop. I understand from further reading that the Government had worried that a higher levy involving all sizes of shops might have damaged the smaller outlets' businesses, but I must say, I find that hard to believe when one considers the damage being caused to small retail outlets by some local authorities' ridiculous parking restrictions and charges and the often over-zealous traffic wardens they employ!
Bearing in mind that the money levied is supposed to be going to charity, why not extend the scheme to all outlets and double the cost of each bag given out? It's unlikely to harm hard up families, as the scheme's implementation is still so far off that everyone has plenty of time to hoard away a car boot full of bags - just as I did years ago!
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12th June 2014