In recent years the use of plastic bags has not only gained popularity but is also fast gaining momentum. A recent poll by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation found that a staggering 80% of consumers believe it is better to use plastic bags than to use paper or cotton bags.
Although it is good to see consumers using their voice in support of keeping the environment clean and of keeping them informed, more needs to be done.
It is good that consumers are now becoming concerned with using reusable bags so they know they are playing their part. However, the vast majority of shoppers still prefer using plastic bags – and where shoppers use plastic shopping bags at all, only half are using them in shopping establishments that have made it a priority to reduce the use of plastic bags.
The majority of the other shoppers have chosen to use plastic bags despite the fact that the plastic bag tax was imposed in Scotland in 2003. It is a fact that taxes are a big issue. With the use of plastic bags becoming more and more popular, and with tax still on the table, the question must be asked as to whether shoppers realize that a higher cost and a larger tax can be a better option for the environment?
As a consumer who is concerned with the environment and your child’s future, the answer is yes.
The UK has the potential to use more plastic bags than any other nation but it needs to be convinced that their production is more than just fashion statements. It must start with greater use of plastic bags in supermarkets and other big businesses.
It is good that the United Nations recently endorsed a campaign to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags and to use reusable bags instead. But to make it a reality, the public needs to be persuaded that their local supermarkets are also on board with the use of reusable bags.
In fact, a survey by YouGov found that if the consumer demanded that their local supermarket use a sufficient number of these bags, then a third of UK consumers say they will use their own bags instead of taking others.
If you had told people twenty years ago that they would be buying reusable shopping bags to take with them to the shops, they would have thought you mad, and they would have said that such bags were completely impractical as they didn’t fit into normal shopping trolleys.
This is exactly what is happening now and it is great to see that consumers are getting their Eco-friendly messages across.