The 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.