*Cleanzine_logo_2a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 23rd May 2024 Issue no. 1115

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The majority of people living in England will have been aware for some time, that from this October, new legislation would require us – in most cases – to pay five pence for the single-use plastic bags we used to be given for free with our shopping. Some of us have used that time to get into the habit of taking our own bags out with us when we shop; others, judging by the figures, have used the time to stockpile as many bags as they could, to avoid paying for them when the legislation kicked in!

I’ve been supplying my own bags for years but I still sometimes get caught out when, having popped into a shop for just a couple of items, I end up impulse buying and thus need to temporarily ditch my shopping and run back to the car for my bags, rather than take those being offered and adding to the pile that’s been filling much of my boot for years.

If I can’t get it right after all these years, I realise it’s going to be difficult for novices, so I hope that those who do get caught out, pay for the bags with good grace. Marks & Spencer has been charging 5p for its bags for quite a while – and on the odd occasion I’ve had to buy one, having been tempted by too many extras while supposedly just picking up my lunchtime sandwich, it has pleased me that the money has gone to charity rather than into the company’s coffers. Just imagine how much could be raised for good causes if all other stores do the same!

There have been quite a few references to the new charges on social media, with some protestors posting pictures of themselves driving home with the store’s baskets that they’ve taken to avoid having to pay for a bag, and others arguing that plastic bags are more environmentally friendly than the reusable bags that will require regular washing. I know having to supply your own bags or pay for the plastic can be a bit of a pain but when you consider the eyesore plastic bags create when stuck in trees or hedges, or blowing about in the wind, and the problems they cause to wildlife and the environment generally, surely it’s worth the effort?

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Jan Hobbs

8th October 2015

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