Could you live without carrier bags?

April 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 6 Comments
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In the boot of my car is a big canvas bag.  Inside of that bag are many, many other canvas bags.  Ones with hand prints by our three-year old and the rest of his nursery class.  Ones with illustrations by celebrities, produced to raise money for good causes.  Ones I’ve snaffled at trade shows and admit to purely going to that stand to get one.  There are probably 20 in total.

So why is it that more often than not I find myself at the checkout without them when I come to pay for my shopping?!  Brain will not compute.

It’s fine when I do my ‘big shop’ because we opt to self scan.  During which my son scans his face, bashing it against his hairline trying to get a response from it.  By the time we leave he looks like he’s had his brains extracted by aliens via his forehead.

Having discovered the absolutely beautiful reusable shopping bags from Envirosax via a Groupon offer including their particularly lovely Slingsax, I realised that (after adding these to my collection of course), that I really have no excuse not to use my own bags every time I shop.  And yes, there is something very ego-massaging about pressing on the ‘yes I did’ button when asked ‘did you use your own bags’ today?’   Once I said yes and stated that I’d used 11 bags when it asked me how many.  The machine didn’t believe me and called for a supervisor.  Ok so it wasn’t quite 11 but I’m pretty sure it was eight.  Or seven…  I said none then next four times that I had actually used my own bag to compensate….Not really.  I’m not that honest – which was probably evident in the fact that I pressed 11 in the first place.

So I’m going to vow never to use a carrier bag again.  Maybe I need to stash reusable bags in different places so I am triumphant in my quest.  In my handbag, the buggy, the glove box, at work, behind a tree on the way to the shop.  Then I will never forget.  Maybe Tesco customer services could retain some of my reusable bags for me in case of emergencies.

I’m interested to know if you use your own bags.  If a whole town can ban plastic bags, like Modbury in South Devon did, then surely we can start to phase them out nationwide.  Apparently it’s totally antisocial to walk down the road in Modbury swinging a plastic bag with your four pack of Tenants in it.  However if you go about your business with your lager in a wicker basket or waxed canvas holdall, then that’s going to make you one of the in crowd for sure.  In Oxford where I live, people twitch curtains when they think a celebrity may have moved into Jericho.  But no, in Modbury it’s to see whether the lifespan of your carrier bag is more than a few hours.  And this all started in 2007, which by today’s measures is like centuries ago.

I have to agree that charging for carrier bags is a good idea.  It may feel like a total con to pay 8p at the Co-op but if it works then great.  A tree planting charity or something equally as eco-concious should get the profits though.  And I’m a particular fan of shopping at Aldi because they have boxes – often pretty boxes with pictures of pineapples on them which I like using even more than pretty reusable carrier bags.

I shall start my quest tomorrow.


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  1. I could and I do. I also do not use plastic bags in the supermarket for veg either. I was transformed by Karen at the Rubbish Diet who introduced me to

    • Ooh will have a look at those. Veg bags are a good point too. Do you just put everything in loose?

  2. In France they don’t provide carrier bags, they just don’t, so either you take your own bags or…well…you carry everything you bought! Works a treat and you soon get into the swing of it

    • That’s the way to go, don’t give an option!

  3. Oh those bags look gorgeous! I try my hardest to remember to take bags with me to the supermarket but there’s always that time when you’re pulling in to park and realise the bags are on the dining room table where you left them! Keeping a spare set in the car might be a way forward – remembering to put them back once I’ve used them as well!

    Great post ty, am off to have a look! xx

    • Thank you! Yes I always pile the bags up in front of the door now so I can’t get out of the house without them!

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