Monday, 29 June 2009

Pay Bags

When I first came to this island, one of the things that really bothered me was the incessant consumption of plastic bags. I would go into the supermarket with my rucksack with the intention of dumping all the stuff in there only to have the cashier, who was quicker than me, putting in the bananas into one plastic bag, then the lettuce onto another, then the eggs go into yet another...well, you get the picture.
When you consider that plastic bags take between 500 and 1,000 years to degrade, you wonder how this has been permitted to carry on for as long as it has.
In the UK, an estimated 13 billion carrier bags are given away each year (source: BBC), and back in Feb 2008, PM Gordon Brown warned retailers that he would force them to cut down on plastic bag use if they did not act voluntarily. Today, according to the BBC, the Welsh Environment minister Jane Davidson was expected to announce proposals which would see shops charge 15p per bag as part of plans to cut down use of bags.In the US, San Francisco became the first city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets in March 2007.
Now, here in Spain, whose consumption of bags is estimated at 238/person/year, according to El Mundo, Carrefour plans to stop giving away single-use carrier bags in its Spanish stores.
What action do you personally take to combat this problem? Many dump the bags in the yellow plastic recycling containers; but, do they really get recycled?

1 comment:

  1. The title is a pun on the phrasal verb "pay back". Look it up in a dictionary if you don't know what it means.


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