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5p bag charge - your views

edited 2 October 2015 at 10:59AM in Food Shopping & Groceries
769 replies 123.9K views
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  • edited 5 November 2015 at 8:35AM
    SystemSystem
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    edited 5 November 2015 at 8:35AM
    A._Badger wrote: »
    You're quite sure about that, are you?

    "With respect to the norovirus outbreak, Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor in the Departments of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona who conducts research about the transmission of pathogens through the environment, issued the following statement:1

    “The latest outbreak of norovirus reinforces the research we have conducted about the propensity of reusable grocery bags to act as hosts for dangerous foodborne bacteria and viruses. In reality, reusable bags are likely at fault much more often than we realize: cases often go unreported and uninvestigated.

    “The cause of roughly 70 percent of foodborne illness cases, the norovirus spreads very easily and Symptom's include projectile vomiting and severe diarrhea. It can have such sweeping consequences as school and emergency room closures. This incident should serve as a warning bell: permitting shoppers to bring unwashed reusable bags into grocery and retail stores not only poses a health risk to baggers but also to the next shoppers in the checkout line."

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/green-shopping-bags-linked-to-stomach-flu/

    Of course, American bags are different from those in Wales, Scotland & N. Ireland. Perhaps you think the virus can tell the difference?

    One outbreak in Oregon attributed to a carrier bag. Well that's conclusive. This was back in 2012, however there doesn't appear to be anything since. So this actually appears to be a one-off due to a basic failure of hygiene by the parent supplying the cookies.

    Yes there is a risk, but it hasn't changed. People have been re-using carrier bags for years without any reported increase in FP etc attributable to their use.


    I really wish that people would get it through their thick skulls that there is no such thing as a risk free environment. Some risks remain n matter what. In this case there is no evidence that there has been an increase in risk. Theory says that there is the possibility that risk increases but no empirical evidence but that is as far as it goes, Which means as far as science goes, the theory fails.
  • ZandoniZandoni Forumite
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    !!!!!! wrote: »

    I really wish that people would get it through their thick skulls that there is no such thing as a risk free environment. Some risks remain n matter what. In this case there is no evidence that there has been an increase in risk. Theory says that there is the possibility that risk increases but no empirical evidence but that is as far as it goes, Which means as far as science goes, the theory fails.

    It's extremely hard to tell if there's an increased risk at all, but there's a possibility. Carrying chilled or frozen Meat in a plastic bag will mean that they will get damp inside, which will be a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria.

    I'm not prepared to take that risk for the sake of a few pence, so I will use a single use carrier bag for my meat each week and throw it away after. I have large stocks of these bags and when they run out I'll probably buy a single use from the supermarket or get them in bulk from eBay. I'll even change my other bags regularly because there's no way I'll walk around with tatty looking bags.

    If people are so tight or they care so much about the environment they can do whatever they want.
  • Nick_CNick_C Forumite
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    I did a big shop in Morrison's yesterday and I was very impressed. As she scanned the fresh meat items, she put them to one side so she could put them into a single bag.

    Not only was I offered a few bag, but the cashier took appropriate steps to ensure that bag wasn't used for anything else (or at least not until the transaction was complete).

    Top marks to Morrison's for staff training and customer service.
  • SystemSystem
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    Think about the whole shopping experience .

    Go into a supermarket,travel the aisles and buy a multitude of items. Visit the meat area and buy whatever meat ready wrapped in clingfilm or from the counter and bagged. Place in trolley with the rest of the shopping.
    So this meat product is already in wrapping that has a very high probability of being contaminated on the outside. This contamination is now on your hands, the other items in the trolley, the trolley itself, and, when you get to the checkout, the conveyor belt.
    So you first start worrying about cross-contamination AFTER you have contaminated yourself, the trolley for the next user and the checkout area, not forgetting any money you hand over.

    Single use carrier bags haven't changed that and you control the spread of contamination with your bags for life, it's not anybody else's responsibility.
  • edited 5 November 2015 at 7:51PM
    ZandoniZandoni Forumite
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    edited 5 November 2015 at 7:51PM
    !!!!!! wrote: »
    Think about the whole shopping experience .

    Go into a supermarket,travel the aisles and buy a multitude of items. Visit the meat area and buy whatever meat ready wrapped in clingfilm or from the counter and bagged. Place in trolley with the rest of the shopping.
    So this meat product is already in wrapping that has a very high probability of being contaminated on the outside. This contamination is now on your hands, the other items in the trolley, the trolley itself, and, when you get to the checkout, the conveyor belt.
    So you first start worrying about cross-contamination AFTER you have contaminated yourself, the trolley for the next user and the checkout area, not forgetting any money you hand over.

    Single use carrier bags haven't changed that and you control the spread of contamination with your bags for life, it's not anybody else's responsibility.

    Yes there are many ways in a supermarket to pick up some bacteria but for a mere few pence you can lessen the chance of it building up inside a bag for life. I'm happy to splash out on a bag if I need one, you can save the money and buy yourself an extra cup of coffee each year if you want to :)
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  • edited 5 November 2015 at 8:53PM
    A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    edited 5 November 2015 at 8:53PM
    Big_Graeme wrote: »
    The same crank who's work was sponsored by "American Chemistry Council" who represent bag makers? The same crank who warned about soap dispensers while taking money from Clorox?

    I'd be careful hanging my hat on that peg.

    Ah, right. So let me see. I can take the opinion of a Professor in the Departments of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona or some bloke on the Internet called 'Big Graeme'.who opines that the Prof is a 'crank'.

    Let me see now...

    Meanwhile, both the US CDC (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control) and Health Canada have issued warnings about the dangers of cross contamination from reusable bags but, no, 'Internet man' knows better.

    Or not... as the case may be.
  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    !!!!!! wrote: »
    Think about the whole shopping experience .

    Go into a supermarket,travel the aisles and buy a multitude of items. Visit the meat area and buy whatever meat ready wrapped in clingfilm or from the counter and bagged. Place in trolley with the rest of the shopping.
    So this meat product is already in wrapping that has a very high probability of being contaminated on the outside. This contamination is now on your hands, the other items in the trolley, the trolley itself, and, when you get to the checkout, the conveyor belt.
    So you first start worrying about cross-contamination AFTER you have contaminated yourself, the trolley for the next user and the checkout area, not forgetting any money you hand over.

    Single use carrier bags haven't changed that and you control the spread of contamination with your bags for life, it's not anybody else's responsibility.

    This is precisely what bothers me about zealots. No one is stopping you from taking any amount of risks with your own health. But you aren't content with that. For the sake of a questionable concern you have about the significance of waste plastic carriers, you are quite content to have others exposed to risks, people who may be not be as well informed about health issues.

    Yes, there is a risk with meat packaging (though not only meat - vegetables can be problematic too, as salmonella outbreaks have shown) and yes there is a risk from simply handling that packaging or using a shopping trolley. But it cannot be plausibly denied that placing contaminated packs into bags next to other food items for quite long periods of time increases that risk. Then reusing that bag for yet more food items, as many people will do, increases the risk still further.

    That might not bother you and you should, of course (and always have been) entitled to take whatever risks you please. But this change in the law encourages others to take risks - people who may very well not be aware of what the risks are, as some posters on this thread have shown.

    In other words, and not for the first time (refuse collection to name just one), 'Greens' put their principles before other people's safety.
  • SystemSystem
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    I'm no zealot, just pointing out the stupidity of the paranoia that appears to be existing in this thread.

    As I said, the responsibility for the cleanliness of your re-usable bag is yours alone, don't try to shift the onus/blame on a regulation.

    People used to mix stuff in bags before the carrier bag law came in. It now just means that they have to think about things and either pay for extra bags to keep things separate or have their own bags allocated for various things and clean them themselves as necessary. The overall risk has probably changed very little however expectations appear to have

    Deal with your own hygiene, don't expect the nanny state to do it for you.!
  • SystemSystem
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    Though Defra have no exceptions regarding free carriers for bags of sugar and flour. Either Defra need to amend the law or sugar and flour packaging companies need to improve the packaging as they leak.

    Today in Asda, there was a customer who put a produce bag over bags of flour. Cashier said she cannot do that. But could it if she used bags brought from home. Could be resealable food bags or small carrier bags.
  • Kim_13Kim_13 Forumite
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    Though Defra have no exceptions regarding free carriers for bags of sugar and flour. Either Defra need to amend the law or sugar and flour packaging companies need to improve the packaging as they leak.

    Today in Asda, there was a customer who put a produce bag over bags of flour. Cashier said she cannot do that. But could it if she used bags brought from home. Could be resealable food bags or small carrier bags.

    I don't think the law applies to the produce bags, but I think it needs to be clarified as cashiers are interpeting it their own way.

    Sainsbury's have said they don't give free carriers for meat as it's all packed so not a safety issue. That exception is also a 'you can' not a 'you must.' Since the charge came in, my mum has put a pork tenderloin in a produce bag in Sainsbury's and a bottle of dishwasher fluid in a produce bag in Asda (she noticed it was leaking when she got to the checkout.) No charge or issue taken by the staff on either occasion.
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