5p Plastic Bags – A Solution?


Hands up anyone who uses plastic bags from supermarkets as rubbish bags?

Now put your hand down, because you’re reading your screen with one hand in the air.

In the UK it is now law that shops with over 250 employees must charge five pence for their plastic bags. This is a  scheme, concocted by the government, to alleviate the affects on landfill sites and the environment; but is it really a solution?

Shops have indeed noticed that they are giving out fewer plastic bags, but the question I have is: What are people going to do now that it effectively costs to recycle their shopping bags as rubbish bags?

The answer to this goes two ways: 1: People will spend more on ordinary rubbish bags and still dump the same amount of rubbish, or 2: People will just end up spending 5p on their bags anyway, and throw away the same amount of rubbish.

Spot the pattern yet? That’s right, people are still throwing away the same amount of rubbish surrounded by some form of plastic bag.

Now, this kind of points to the possibility that the only thing this new law does is increase revenue for grocery stores or the manufacturers of ordinary refuse sacks.

Problem not solved.

However, I could be being too cynical.


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