Ditch the plastic bag

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marine-life-hurt-by-plastic-carrier-bagsWe’ve all heard it hundreds of times before, which means, if you’re still taking disposable carrier bags from the supermarkets, you shouldn’t be!

Over 17 1/2 billion disposable plastic carrier bags are given out every year in the UK alone.

Once in the landfill, these bags can take up to 1000 years to degrade. If they escape the landfill, they can cause devestation to wildlife and marine life. Globally, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from entanglement in, or ingestion of, plastics.

If you’re already using your own shopping bags, then why not take another step today to reduce the amount of plastic you use? Check our nine tips for preventing plastic going to the landfill. If you want the ultimate in reusable shopping bags, find out how to get a huge 25% off a Trolley Dolly.


  1. Graham on June 24, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I hope one day there will be an alternative to the current plastic bag, that will degrade much quicker and still be convenient. I don’t think people will give up bags in a hurry so an alternative should be found.

  2. Travis on June 25, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Yup! Couldn’t agree more… plastic bags REALLY need to become a thing of the past… and quick!

    By the way, your website is quite sophisticated Mrs. Green, did you do all the designing yourself?

  3. Mrs Green on June 30, 2009 at 7:34 am

    @Graham: Hi Graham, I was interview for a radio station yesterday about this issue. There is a government member over here who wishes to charge 15p for a plastic bag; I welcome this – if we hurt people in their pockets, we will see change. I don’t feel that ‘degradable’ bags are the way forward.


    Thanks Travis – my husband designed and built the site 🙂

  4. Sinead on February 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I am totally for charging for plastic bags. It’s the best way to deter people from taking them at supermarkets. This was introduced in Ireland many years ago and seems to have worked a treat. Everytime i go back home i’m amazed at the numbers of people who bring reusable bags to the supermarket. And amazed at how often i forget!
    It’s such a simple solution and it means money for the government, or some shops donate it to charity.
    I’ve had a bit of a rant about this on Ecoboom before as i feel quite strongly about it and still can’t understand why it’s taking so long for the UK to implement this charge for plastic bags.
    It really will make a huge difference, especially for the people who don’t think about reusable bags or the environment. Just watch how things will change if these people actually have to pay for the numerous plastic bags they use! it won’t take long.

    Also I thought the nine tips to reduce plastic use were great. This is a great website, and the articles are always interesting. hope it gets more people on a green buzz!

  5. Mrs Green on February 10, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    @Sinead: I agree about a bag tax; it has clearly worked in Ireland; so why not roll it out to other areas? It makes total sense doesn’t it? Seems a no brainer to me. We sometimes use Lidls who have always charged for bags – the upshot is, EVERYONE takes their own bags and boxes…
    Thanks for your compliments on the site; I appreciate it!

  6. Erin on March 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    19 billion bags are distributed every year in California alone and well over 40% of marine mammal species and bird species have been recorded to be negatively impacted by plastics (via entanglement or ingestion). I would love to talk to you about a potential collaboration on a Viral Bag Campaign called “Trash Your Friends, Not the Ocean” – please email me if you’re interested in learning more about it!

    Thanks so much for all of your wonderful posts!

    REFUSE, reuse, reduce, recycle 🙂

  7. Mrs Green on April 3, 2010 at 9:51 am

    @Erin: Hi Erin, thanks for telling us about your campaign. Good luck with it all and I’m sure we can do something together.

  8. Diane on May 14, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I take reusable ones with me – apart from the last time when I forgot for the first time in years! I now have a stash of carrier bags!
    I will be folding them up nearly and taking them to the local charity shop though as they will reuse them.

    I don’t like seeing people use them as bin liners though! You shouldn’t be putting anything nasty and wet in a bin in your house – so why waste a bin bag?

    Use plastic bins in the kitchen and empty them frequently into the outside bin. Wash the bins out – you don’t need a carrier bag to keep your bins clean and smelling nice.

    I do put a bit of washing powder in the kitchen bin in case any nasty stuff gets in.

  9. Mrs Green on May 17, 2010 at 5:47 am

    @Diane: Hi Diana; we occasionally forget them too; now I have a couple that fold up really small in the bottom of my handbag.
    I agree with you about the bin bag – if you can separate food waste then the ‘rubbish’ should be dry and not need a bag. We don’t have a bin at all anymore – everything is reused, recycled or composted or kept here and posted off for reprocessing.

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