M&S to charge 5p for carrier bags

M&S Carrier BagsThe BBC reported yesterday that Marks & Spencer is to begin charging its food shoppers for carrier bags, with customers paying 5p per plastic bag, all of which will be donated to an environmental charity Groundwork which invests in much-needed green spaces in neighbourhoods.

We use an awful lot of carrier bags in the UK, about 13 billion a year, which is crazy, and something definitely has to be done to reduce this.

I know a lot of people will be in uproar against this but to be honest this is the only way that it can happen as we can?t trust people to simply cut down on their bag usage. Bags for Life have been around for quite a few years now but I still don?t see a huge amount of people re-using these week-in week-out.

If you have to pay for something then you will think twice about if you really need it, and shops such as Netto and Lidl have been charging for carrier bags for a long time now, although I think for them it?s more a matter of reducing expenses rather than saving the planet.

Just because we?re used to getting plastic carrier bags it doesn?t mean that?s the right way of doing things and today Gordon Brown has warned retailers he will force them to cut down on plastic bag use if they do not act voluntarily, and so it looks like M&S timed their campaign quite well.

Next up is to get supermarkets to reduce the amount of packaging they use on their products.

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3 Responses to M&S to charge 5p for carrier bags

  1. Matt B says:

    To be honest the type of person most likely to shop in M&S has sufficient disposable income to not care too much. I fully remember in my ?student-esk days? the realisation that taking bags to netto meant more tins of cheap food to take home.

  2. Aidan L says:

    I?m pleased to see that M&S are doing this and hope that other shops follow suit. I am also pleased to see Brown backing it too. Hopefully we?ll see a reduction of the usage of plastic bags.

    I can see it taking quite a long time for supermarkets to reduce the amount of packing on products, however, I?m sure it will come one day. When that day arrives is a completely different matter but I?m sure it will?

  3. Aravis says:

    The stores around here have begun to sell cloth bags with the store?s logo on it. People bring them with them when they shop, and no disposable bags are used/needed. One store even sells special zippered bags with a lining that keeps hot food hot and cold food cold.

    But I like the idea that M&S has of donating the extra money for green purposes. I wish the stores here would do that as well to the customers who don?t use the cloth bag idea.


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