M&S carrier bags...

  Quickbeam 07:47 28 Feb 2008

Sky News have just reported that M&S are to charge 5p for their carrier bags for ecological reasons. They say they take a thousand years to decay.

'A thousand years'?... I've had flower bulbs in the garage over winter in Morrisons bags, and their bags are showing signs of decay now, or I must be Rip Van Winkle :)

Why don't they just change the material, or are they just using a crappy green argument to increase annual profits...?

And when we stop using carrier bags, won't we just buy the same material saved packaged as 'kitchen bin liners'?

  oresome 09:07 28 Feb 2008

I agree Quickbeam, we also reuse carrier bags as bin liners and wrap everything that goes in the outdoor bin. This saves resources washing the bin out so often.

I think a lot of these green measures don't actually produce the savings first thought of.

  interzone55 09:21 28 Feb 2008

For one, biodegradable bags take a few years to degrade, not thousands of years. Your Morrisons bags are probably falling apart because they're pretty crap quality in the first place.

Secondly, M & S will not make a single penny from the sales of these bags, all the money will go to environmental projects to produce green spaces in urban areas.

Thirdly, the misuse of statistics. M & S claim that carrier bag usage dropped by 70% in trail stores after they started charging. Well no S**t Sherlock, of course distribution will drop after a charge is introduced - how many copies of The Metro would be sold if they started charging for it.
What they don't mention is how much food sales dropped in the same period.

  Quickbeam 11:34 28 Feb 2008

"Your Morrisons bags are probably falling apart because they're pretty crap quality in the first place."

The quality of any carrier bag only has to be good enough to get the goods home, and then to be reused in the pedal bin. Why do M&S have to have higher quality ones... The food yes, but the carriers no.

  jack 11:56 28 Feb 2008

After all how much is the average shop in M&S?
There is of course a difference between bags in the food section and garment bags.
The best way is to levy a realistic charge for bags and packaging in general and show it on the bill

Sandwich £1.25 - pack .50p
Shopping- food £25 packaging - £2.50
Get realistic like that and folk will come out of their dream, and take their own bags.

We shop in two supermarkets on alternate weeks.
In the boot we carry a 'Bag for Life' and a supply of the durable bags for each supermarket
Being only the trolley minder it is my task to ensure we enter each store with only their bags - or I am in for a ticking off from Order Picker Supervision.

  Monoux 12:03 28 Feb 2008

I'm with oresome on this one. The treasury will also benefit-- VAT on the increase in sales of bin liners.

  Covergirl 12:48 28 Feb 2008

I think Tesco has had major successes with carrier bag usage since it started giving the customer 1 point for each carrier bag reused. That's £1 per hundred.

Certainly emptied our carrier bag store !

Co-op has been issuing degradable carriers for years and Tesco have started I think - probably others too.

Looks like M&S are wanting to discourage shoppers by charging 5p - but even half a dozen carriers would be very little on the average M&S shoppers bill. Probably wouldn't be noticed. Ha.

And if you can afford to shop in M&S, would you actually care anyway ?

So, will the 5p per carrier make M&S millionaires or just cut the amount of bags used ?

Quote from alan14
"M & S claim that carrier bag usage dropped by 70% in trail stores"

Normal carrier bags left in the open air for a couple of years or so will disintegrate. Not so for those buried underground without a light or oxygen source.

The bio bags probably disintegrate under any conditions.

  Grey Goo 13:02 28 Feb 2008

Makes you wonder how people managed before the things were invented.

  Stuartli 13:11 28 Feb 2008

>>Makes you wonder how people managed before the things were invented.>>

We used large canvas or similar material bags.

  oresome 13:13 28 Feb 2008

From my observations of M&S food produce, they use more packaging than probably any other supermarket.

I'd be more impressed with their green credentials if they reduced some of this excess packaging, but this may impact on the premium prices they are able to charge their time poor customers.

  Bingalau 13:17 28 Feb 2008

We used paper bags, individual items were wrapped in greaseproof paper and then everything was dropped into a canvas type shopping bag, for the long walk home. No taxi's in those days people had to be rich to afford one. Now you see people with huge amounts of shopping all in plastic bags getting taxi's home. Conclusion "Everybody has got too much money these days". except me of course! All contributions too.....

Seriously though hygiene wasn't as good as it is now, Bluebottles in grocery and butchers' shops were commonplace. Cats lying in the shop windows getting the sun's rays and waiting for the occasional mouse I suppose.

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