I was in the queue today at one of our local shops, and the girl behind the till asked the woman in front of me if she would like a carrier bag. The woman said yes, only to be informed that she had to pay .5p for it.
"Oh, never mind!" she snapped, and then reached into the hessian shopping bag, (which appeared to be empty) she was carrying over one arm, pulled out another large empty plastic carrier bag and proceded to put her purchases in it. ? ! !
People like this make me wish the shops would charge a pound for the blinking bags!.
That's quite amazing, maybe she is a carrier bag stock piler? I think the carrier bag charge is a good thing, I do still use them but generally I have hessian strong bags on me when I go shopping and they last and last.
Its a shame it has taken so long for us (well most of us) to finally realise the need for this sort of change. I remember when I was very young shopping with my Gran. She had a "clean" bag for the groceries and a "vegetable" bag. The greengrocer weighed out the spuds, carrots, etc. and they were all simply tipped into the veg bag with no other packaging. Shopping was done 2 or 3 times a week but even so, for a household of eight, that doesn't seem a lot compared with the amount wheeled out in supermarket shopping trollies these days. In our street with 40 houses, only 2 families had cars - but there again, we also had smoking chimneys and smog!
I too remember vegetables being tipped straight into the bag my Mum used to take for them. I was surprised by the amount of discussion in the media before it was introduced in England and, for a reason I don't understand, a charge for bags applies to all retailers in Scotland and Wales but only to retailers with more than 250 employees in England.
It will take a little while for everyone(perhaps just, most) to get the message. At least the person you saw Rowanberry did change her behaviour when she was going to be charged, though it does seem odd to bring a bag with you and then ask for another; probably just habit, which hopefully will change as it has done in Scotland and Wales.
Those were the days! Same here really with things being tipped into the bag, but if you needed to keep something separate like strawberries, they were put in a paper bag - mind you that was well before the days of recycling.
Agree with all your answers, It is now quite normal up here in Scotland and a number of the shops have a recycling point for unwanted plastic bags, some with the money going to charity, a couple of the supermarkets give the money collected for plastic bags to charities also. However when it was first introduced, no end of people were aghast " how am I going to get my shopping back home or to the car?". Talking of bags I got charged for a paper bag recently - small shop buying a wee present for someone.
Unfortunately there is a good reason for this. There is strong evidence that the outside surfaces of sealed raw meat containers are often contaminated with the same bacteria as the raw meat inside - especially if it's chicken. It's good practice for stores to add the extra layer of protection. The problem has been well publicised and not just in the UK- here's a couple of examples -