That’s the percentage by which England’s plastic bag usage has decreased since the charge was introduced in October 2015. Boom!
This is great news, no doubt about it, but we can do better.
Applying the charge to paper bags
The English charge only applies to plastic bags so places like Primark and Lush can continue to use paper bags. They’re better than plastic but all single-use bags are terrible for the environment.
Applying the charge to small businesses
Small businesses are exempt from the charge; the idea behind this being that if they began to charge, they’d be financially impacted. That’s the last thing I’d want but I don’t think it’s true. I can’t imagine that anyone is shopping at local stores to avoid the charge.
Banning all single-use plastic bags
We can ban any single use plastic bags and make reusable or paper bags the only ones available for purchase at the till.
Changing the exemptions
As a veggie, I don’t know for sure but I swear that the butchers and fishmongers wrap the raw food in clingfilm anyway.
I didn’t know you could buy uncovered blades but I don’t imagine a flimsy plastic bag is going to do more to prevent injury than a canvas bag. Also, I’m not an expert but do people buy uncovered blades on a whim? I suppose that shops probably don’t want people saying that they’ll just carry the blade out… but you can make it policy/law that it needs to be taken in a reusable bag/paper bag.
Live fish…let’s not even go there.
Seeds, bulbs, flowers…
So, these are all things that could go in a paper or reusable bag, except the live fish. If we’re going to get fish from pet stores then maybe we can get a temporary tank.