By John Smith • 28 November 2019 • 15:21
A bags for life collection
IN an effort to reduce plastic waste, the concept of bags for life was introduced and charges were made for normal plastic bags at supermarkets.
The idea was that people would be persuaded to purchase the bags for life and keep using them but this hasn’t actually been the case in the UK.
Latest research by Greenpeace and charity the Environmental Investigation Agency suggest that UK consumers are buying more of these bags and treating them as if they were disposable and as they are made from stronger plastic the effect on the environment is getting worse.
To become effective and hurt the environment less, a bag for life needs to be used four times but with 1.5 billion sold last year, that’s clearly not happening.
One alternative that many suggest is to bring back paper carrier bags but the reality is that they can be more harmful to the environment as large tracts of forest need to be cut down, the process of manufacture produces a higher concentration of toxic chemicals and they take up more space for transport
In actual fact, you need to use a paper bag three times to reduce the effect on the environment and this is far less likely as bags split or become wet.
Another factor is cost, as the supermarkets are encouraged to charge more for their bags, it is assumed that profits will go to charity but this is not mandatory and they decide what the ‘profit’ amount is.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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