If you can’t manage to do anything else to reduce waste, then at least start with this one.
There are 17½ billion plastic carrier bags given out by supermarkets in the UK every year; yet only one in every 200 plastic carrier bags is recycled.
Most carrier bags are used just once before being dumped in the landfill where they can take up to 1000 years to break down. It has to be one of the biggest wastes of resources that we all take for granted. It takes years to create the oil to make the bags, years for them to decompose, yet we only use them for a couple of minutes before throwing them away.
Unfortunately, plastic carrier bags can end up in the ocean where they cause untold damage. Creatures such as turtles mistake the bags for food which then get lodged in their throats or stomachs resulting in a painful death.
Our Grandmothers took their own bags and baskets to the shops and now more people are realising they can do the same.
There are a wide variety of bags to choose from and it’s important to find ones that are right for you. You might prefer something that folds up small so you can keep it in your pocket. Or perhaps you prefer a large jute bag with a firm base that stands up on the checkout. If you already have carrier bags at home, keep reusing them before recycling them.
You could even raid your fabric stash and make your own unique shopping bags! Or like Zero Wasters in Presteigne, Powys make cloth bags from recycled fabric and hand them out for free.