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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

NEWS: Plastic bag update

I have received a lot of positive feedback with regards to the article I wrote on our reliance, as a society, on plastic bags. I would welcome more news on solutions that are out there, but I wanted to share the news that:

Ikea are now to charge 5p a plastic bag in order to help the environment and already plans to increase that charge to 10p later this year. Trials have shown a 90% reduction in plastic bag use.

(Editor's note: Nice to see David Cameron NOT jumping on any green bandwagons, eh? Sorry, do forgive the cynical jibe, I suppose it is good that he has helped publicise the importance of IKEA's move. Ahem!)

Worth noting that Ireland has seen a 90% reduction in the use of carrier bags since 2002 when a charge of 10p a bag was put in place.

And with Tesco's announcing their intention to use biodegradable bags by September 2006 we are seeing quite the revolution. Long may it continue.

This makes me smile - if anyone has any more updates on this - please do let me know.

Green hugs!


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At 11:10 AM, Blogger merrick said...

On the presumption that Tesco's biodegradable bags are the same as the co-op's, they are bad news.

Like normal bags they are made from oil, they only biodegrade under specific circumstances that landfill often doesn't supply.

What makes them worse is that they are more energy intensive to manufacture. It's worse than normal bags.

All around the world plastic bags are being taxed or even banned altogether. It's amazing that any government can't get it's head round a simple win-win measure like that.

As you say, Cameron's jumping the bandwagon but not actually doing anything. If he believed in it, he's have a policy to tax bags.

Yet last year a Bill came to the Scottish Parliament to tax bags, and the Conservatives vigourously opposed it.

So no, it's not good he's promoted it; he's used it to promote himself dishonestly as someone concerned about environmental matters.

Thanks a lot for your article, some absolutley staggering statistics you found. I think pointing out the oil consumption is really important as oil prices creep ever upward.

I've done an article on the bags thing as well, if anyone's interested.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hey Merrick

You are fast becoming my favourite commentator, will check out your site asap.

Did not know that about biodegradable bags. For me the best solution is to tax bags and get people using alternatives as we mentioned in the first of those two posts.

But failing that just getting mainstream Britain thinking about the sustainability/oil/plastic issue is a pretty good start...I guess...

Cameron...good point...he used to be in PR and we should not trust him one bit.

I would like to take credit for the articles but they were written by our London co-editor, Becky, so take a bow Becky.



At 11:08 PM, Blogger merrick said...

'getting mainstream Britain thinking about the sustainability/oil/plastic issue is a pretty good start'

absolutely; but the biodegradable bags don't do that. Quite the opposite, the make people think they've been environmentally sound when they're nothing of the sort.

As a bag tax looms larger, supermarkets will do what all corporations do when faced with regulation and give a pre-emptive voluntary token measure to show that they're responsible and no legislation's needed.

We should expect this sort of thing from Tesco, but it's a genuine scandal that the Co-op do these oil bags.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Am surprised to hear this as I know there are many developments using corn instead of oil to create biodegradable plastics...or is Belu ( the water bottle also oil based?

Of course you are correct in that it is somewhat misleading ... wonder why they are not using corn-based plastics in the first place? Anyone from Tesco or Coop care to comment?



At 11:11 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

By the way read your article, which is awesome, and personally agree that a bag tax is the way to go...




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