This week the government passed a legislation in England that meant that carrier bags in supermarkets now cost an additional 5 pence. This is all part of the country trying to be eco-friendlier and reduce the mass production of those god awful plastic bags. England is the last in the UK to introduce this charge, the 5p carrier bag charge was established in Wales in 2011, Northern Ireland in 2013, and Scotland last year. It has had a mixed review, there are those that are glad to see enforcement being put in place to reduce waste, yet there are also those that can’t fathom spending extra money on something as essential as a carrier bag.
Reusable plastic bags have been around for ages, yet we never really utilised them as planned because as a nation we always tried to avoid unnecessary costs, and whilst it’s predicted the sales of reusable bags will increase as a result of this legislation, there are alternatives to make our shopping more practical, cost effective, and even a tad more sophisticated, for those of us that don’t find those bright orange Sainsbury’s bags an attractive addition to our outfit. Mango – £29.99
This shopper carries an ever so vague resemblance to a Céline tote. If you’re not buying that, it has a lot of room and extra pockets for your essentials such as keys and money.Topshop – £29
Large in size and comes with an extra external compartment which could save you having to rummage around for your purse, or keys.
This shopper has a thick lining to keep your shopping chilled, and also has an attractive bold pattern and long versatile handle, superior to anything plastic.
Very simple, and very economically friendly. Practical zip also saves anything falling outASOS – £20
Another bargain bag, but with an expensive looking feel. Appeals to the more fashion conscious shoppers.
A versatile bag that could be used for a day-out, or to assist your errands, it’s definitely a practical bag to take shopping with you.
This isn’t about stylizing your weekly shop, it’s just about practicality, and to help the environment whilst you’re at it. Of course you’re not going to carry 6 pints of milk in Italian leather and I imagine Mr Vuitton wasn’t really envisioning people using his bags to glamorize their weekly shops anyway. But there’s no reason why you should use plastic when there’s basic alternatives under £30 to make carrying your shopping that little bit easier. The biggest criticisms about the 5p bag charge are that people are going to forget their reusable bags. And whilst the sentiment of putting a reminder on your fridge isn’t a difficult one, by having that one designated bag to use for your shopping essentials (and to hold extra reusable bags if needed) it’ll make life easier, and the environment happier.