18 2 mins 11 yrs

At a time of the impending collapse of the Eurozone, when our Armed Forces are being decimated in the name of austerity cuts whilst the rest of the public sector evades taking any pain, with the threat of Islamic terror attacks on the UK never higher, it’s reassuring to see that we have a Prime Minister who has his finger on the pulse..

“Britain’s biggest supermarkets are today given an ultimatum by the Prime Minister: Radically reduce  the number of plastic bags you hand out by choice, or I will force you to by law. David Cameron warns that unless stores deliver ‘significant falls’ over the next 12 months, they could either be banned outright from giving out single-use bags or be legally required to charge customers for them. The Prime Minister says it is ‘unacceptable’ that the number of single-use carrier bags rose last year by 333million – a 5 per cent increase from the previous year. Environmental campaigners say the bags, used for only 20 minutes on average, take up to 1,000 years to degrade.”

Phew – am I relieved to hear Cameron deal with this issue. It’s been giving me wakeless nights..

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18 thoughts on “FINGER ON THE BUTTON…

  1. Good old Cast Iron. He’s a big picture man to be sure.

    This is a tacit admission the Westminster is little more than the Parish Council these days. The big stuff is now done by Brussels.

  2. Most people use discarded supermarket bags as bin liners. In future people will have to buy new plastic bin liners to replace them. It seems even parish councils have difficulty thinking things through. By the way, is it sensible to assume that most plastic bags floating in the sea have been discarded from ships.

  3. Peter T.
    “By the way, is it sensible to assume that most plastic bags floating in the sea have been discarded from ships.”
    No.
    “80% of the plastic bags floating in the ocean originated from open dumps and not from ships.”
    link:http://www.sprep.org/factsheets/pdfs/plasticbags.pdf.

    I dunno how they know, but in the mid sixties I don’t remember seeing plastic at sea, so,
    ain’t progress a wonderful thing?

  4. DiG –

    This is a tacit admission the Westminster is little more than the Parish Council these days. The big stuff is now done by Brussels.

    Bingo.

    It’s a cack-handed admission that we don’t need them any longer now our real government has taken over. Of course, it would occur to a conservative, the very moment this drivel was suggested to him, that no PM, no minister, no mere MP has any business telling firms what to do with bags. But Cameron is no conservative.

    He probably doesn’t realise how stupid and desperate he looks and the contempt that actual conservatives have for him.

  5. Plastic bags are a problem.

    How do you propose that we reduce the amount of them blowing down the street or into the drains?

    No slogans, please.

  6. Pete – who are these ‘actual conservatives’? Cameron was elected as leader of the Conservative Party by a majority of the members of the Conservative Party. I assume that these people would classify themselves as ‘conservative’ hence the question.

    I view any member of the Conservative Party as an idiot and a traitor.

  7. The 22c Plastic Bag tax solved the problem in Ireland. Everybody brings their own bags now. It’s popular and it works. The supermarkets should get in first, charge for the bags and use the profits to cut prices or to help local charities.

  8. Henry

    Yes it did.

    I hate that there needs to be legislation, but the fact is that many stores / customers could care less about the problem. Which is why discarded bags are everywhere in countries that don’t address the issue.

  9. Phantom – do you think that plastic bags are a probably worthy of consideration by a Head of Government of a nation?

    As for the problem, the answer is to ensure that the plastic degrades. I’m not sure that those in use here have a life of 1000 years: this is probably ‘environmentalists’ hyping their argument. Many plastics, including those used for coating of pipelines, degrade under sunlight so why should plastic bags require 1000 years of service life?

  10. Phantom – do you think that plastic bags are a probably worthy of consideration by a Head of Government of a nation?

    Actually, yes. It shouldn’t be the number one issue, and the discussion shouldn’t take long, but yes, I think that these things are an environmental / litter menace that other countries have managed to deal with, so why shouldn’t the UK find it’s own solution?

  11. I clicked on the link fully expecting to see the usual anti-environment line taken by the Daily Mail, especially since it seems to be 100% opposed to all recycling. But I was presently surprised to read this:

    “Mr Cameron paid tribute to the Daily Mail’s ‘Banish the Bags’ campaign, which encouraged the previous government to force retailers to pledge to reduce the amount they hand out to customers.”

    So I have to say well done to the Daily Mail, something I never expected to say, ever.

    Yes, the bag tax in the ROI seems to have worked – bag use is down by about 90% or close to. Our wee Ulster plans to follow suit and Wales has already done so.

  12. Is this all part of Cameron’s “bag society” idea?

    Insofar as the subject is worth mentioning, the Co-Op has been issuing bio-degradable carrier bags as standard for several years now, so it’s not as if it cannot be done (although I suppose the extra costs involved in manufacturing them (if it does cost more) is passed on to the shopper via higher prices).

    It is going to be very difficult for the supermarkets to implement a serious reduction in the number of discardable bags, because it’s a very competitive market, and culturally, the everyday shopper has gotten used to the idea of not needing to bring their own shopping bag with them to the shops. No s/mkt is going to want to create the slightest disincentive towards its customers, such as withdrawing carrier bags. They’re already under enough pressure price-wise in the battle for customers.

    Perhaps in other industries, companies could offer incentives to their customers to use their own bags/packaging, but I’m not sure this could work for the big s/mkts: The cost *per customer* of manufacturing the bags is so miniscule that no meaningful incentive could be offered to the individual customer.

  13. It is going to be very difficult for the supermarkets to implement a serious reduction in the number of discardable bags, because it’s a very competitive market, and culturally, the everyday shopper has gotten used to the idea of not needing to bring their own shopping bag with them to the shops.

    Tom

    Tesco has been giving extra points for own bag use for at at least three years. You can buy a long term bag at the checkout for 50p or so. I see more and more people using them every week.

  14. Some supermarkets do that here too.

    But plenty of customers / store owners could care less and will do nothing if left to their own devices.

    Some stores basically encourage you to use more bags. They don’t want to bother slowing up the line if the customer wants to use their own bag, etc.

  15. Allan@Aberdeen –

    Pete – who are these ‘actual conservatives’? Cameron was elected as leader of the Conservative Party by a majority of the members of the Conservative Party.

    I’m talking of people outside of the Conservative Party just as much as those few conservatives (Hannan, Carswell etc) within it. I’m even more contemptuous of those unconservatives who votd for Cameron than I am of anyone in the Labour Party.

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