Ban all Bristol retailers from providing plastic shopping bags
Plastic bags are an environmental nightmare.
What the Solution is NOT:
This is not a proposal to suggest that retail outlets can’t give customers shopping bags, or that they must charge customers for bags.
What the Solution IS (well, a small part of it):
It is a proposal to make retailers accountable. Retailers in Bristol should only be permitted to offer customers their choice of biodegradable bag, strong recycled paper bag, or, if customers provide their own bags, give them a small discount on their shop. Or a points credit. Or whatever benefit the shop can come up with. Fine them if they continue to offer customers plastic bags.
Why the contribution is important
In the UK billions of plastic bags are given away every year by supermarkets & shops. There was a big fuss about plastic bags a few years ago, and while this might have resulted in some small changes with a few retail outlets now charging trivial amounts for them, there has not been enough change to constitute a major step forward in our attitudes and behaviour.
Plastic takes up to 1000 years to break down, and does not – repeat, does not - biodegrade. Plastic bags only photo degrade, which means they break up into increasingly smaller bits. This ends up polluting our soil, waterways and seas, and contaminates the food chain when ingested by animals. Plastic bags cause death to marine animals such as turtles, birds and mammals. They are also a considerable problem as wind- borne rubbish.
There is simply no excuse for the “one use” plastic bag. How much longer are we going to sit around and do almost nothing while plastic continues to accumulate in and poison our environment? How much longer are we going to say to retailers that it’s ok for them not to take responsibility? And, on the consumer side, how much longer are we going to take the easy option, just because we are too lazy or just can’t be bothered to provide our own reusable bags? How hard is it to stick a cloth bag into your rucksack /handbag / car boot so you’re always ready for that impulse buy or grocery shop?
Plastic bags are like cigarettes. There is no such thing as a good one.
Come on, George. It’s time to ban them altogether in Bristol. It’s perfectly clear that most retail outlets – particularly the supermarkets – are not going to do this. They’re too afraid of losing custom to the competition. They’ve had plenty of time to do this on a voluntary basis, and they’ve failed. So now it’s time to get tough.
No retail outlet at all in Bristol should be allowed to provide plastic bags, whether for the weekly shop, an item of clothing, or a packet of pills. All Bristol’s retail outlets that provide shopping bags should be required to provide only bags that are fully biodegradable. Let’s get more people into the habit of carrying their own reusable bags. It’s not the answer to the whole problem of plastic, but it’d be a good start.
JDI. In time for 2015, when the eyes of Europe will be on us.
by user412750 on December 20, 2013 at 12:08PM