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Plastic bags

GREAT NEWS! In the first 12 months of the introduction of the 5p charge, over 6 BILLION less plastic bags are in use in England. Not only that, the money from those bags still sold, over £30m worth, went to charity.

Well done England, you should feel proud of yourselves. This will have a positive impact on our environment, wildlife and beaches included.

Mornië utulië


  • coffeehoundcoffeehound Forumite
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    Great news. Wonder why we didn't do it years earlier?
  • robatworkrobatwork Forumite
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    I think "they" got the 5p charge just about spot on. Just enough to make you not want to spend it every time you go shopping especially at the supermarket, but not so high that on those odd occasions you forget to take one with you that it hurts too much.

    But my "potato peeling" stash under the stairs is getting very low now....
  • PoppycatPoppycat Forumite
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    I used my own bags for years now for weekly shop. But with the charge it now made me think about carrying bags if I pop into town like Poundland or Wilkos for example. I just hope money raised goes to good causes and gets spent wisely and not always under admin costs
  • agrinnallagrinnall PPR
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    While customers may have handed over £30 million for using plastic bags, that doesn't mean all of that has gone to charities.
  • Johno100Johno100 Forumite
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    And don't be so sure about those claims about a positive effect on the environment.
    A new report from the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests the plastic bag ban could actually be aiding the increase of greenhouse gas ethane.

    Researchers say after a steady decline in ethane from its peak in 1970 — which was attributed to better emission controls — they have seen an increase in ethane in the Northern Hemisphere of about 400,000 tons annually between 2009-2014.

    “About 60 percent of the drop we saw in ethane levels over the past 40 years has already been made up in the past five years,” said one of the authors of the study, Detlev Helmig,

    Part of the process of making a plastic bag requires ethane to be taken out of the mix, as ethane is too volatile to be safely used. Without ethane being used for plastic bag production, oil and gas companies are forced to burn the ethane off into the atmosphere.
  • edited 30 July 2016 at 12:35PM
    Nick_CNick_C Forumite
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    edited 30 July 2016 at 12:35PM
    The spreadsheet makes interesting reading:-

    Over a billion SUCBs were sold in the first six months at a cost of over £52 million.

    The biggest single beneficiary is the Government, who raised £8.75 million in additional VAT - 16.6% of the money raised.

    £3.3 million was retained by retailers to cover costs. Much of this was start up costs, so we should see a reduction in retentions as time goes on, but almost £1 million (nearly 2%) was retained as the cost of administering donations, almost all by Tesco!

    Of the £3.3 million costs, £2 million was retained by Tesco. Just over a million was for publicity, just under a million is for the cost of administering donations. They donated £11 million to good causes.

    The net proceeds - after VAT and retailer costs - is reported as over £40 million, but less than £30 million has been reported as donated to good causes (note - "good causes" are not necessarily charities!)

    Over £12 million is unaccounted for, as reporting what you do with the money seems to be voluntary.

    Ocado have net proceeds of over £2.3 million. Nothing is reported as having gone to good causes. They say "All proceeds from this new legislation are going towards helping to reduce litter and waste and incentivise recycling". Presumably, this is because they charge you 5p for each new bag they supply you with, but give you 5p off your bill for every bag you hand back for recycling. Essentially, they are running a loophole that allows them to give you new SUCBs with each delivery without charging for them, as long as you give them back for recycling.

    Morrison’s operate a similar scam for home deliveries.

    Poundstretcher (£131K), The Edinborough Woolen Mill (£20K), and Thornton’s (£38K) all report that they are keeping the money.

    Lidl were retaining almost a million at the end of the reporting period, but claim this will be given to good causes.
  • Fair enough. You are right to point out that there are those not joining in with the right spirit and/or are scamming.

    Nonetheless, I think this is a positive concept from which we will all benefit and as consumers we can decide whether we wish to support those who are not playing ball.
    Mornië utulië
  • AltarfAltarf Forumite
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    In the first 12 months of the introduction of the 5p charge, over 6 BILLION less plastic bags are in use in England.

    Not quite.

    6 billion fewer plastic bags were sold to carry home shopping.

    However how many plastic bags have been sold to use a bin liners, picking up dog excrement, etc.

    When you know the second number then you will know whether to jump up and down in excitement or not.

    I now buy the same number of plastic bags as bin bags that I took for shopping, so my reduction is zero.
  • mel48rosemel48rose Forumite
    513 Posts
    Uniform Washer
    I'm in the habit of taking my own bags when I go shopping. I've also gained a kitchen cupboard too that used to be crammed with bags when they were free. :rotfl:
    If you change nothing, nothing will change!!
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    Our Asda haas a bin outside for unwanted plastic bags and a notice to help yourself if you need one.

    So , no need to buy one.
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