Plastic Bag Perils
We'll Charge You for That Bag...Well, Some of You...a Bit
- In England, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (retailers employing less than 250 full time staff) are exempt from applying the charge . The government is now consulting as to whether to remove this limitation, and increase the charge from 5p to a 'shocking' 10p.
- Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland introduced a 5p levy on single use carrier bags in 2011, 2013 and 2014 .
Bags Under the Eyes?
- Sales of single use plastic bags fell from 1.75 billion between 2017-2018 to 1.11 billion between 2018-2019. While many celebrated a 37% decrease, the fact remains that's still around 20 bags per person just from the companies reporting usage! 
- This number doesn't include bags for life which are made up of much thicker plastic 
- In November 2018 a survey of Britain’s largest supermarkets and grocery chains revealed 10 major retailers are placing over 810,000 tonnes of single-use plastic on the market every year  - over three times the weight of all the wild Asian elephants left on the planet ( less than 50,000  ).
- On top of the plastic packaging already mentioned, the 10 leading supermarkets are also producing 1.1 billion single-use bags, almost 1 billion bags for life and 1.2 billion plastic produce bags for fruit and vegetables 
- Many supermarkets have not yet adopted plastic-specific reduction targets 
Bag for a Short Life
- Many retailers are selling plastic bags for life with the concept of if it breaks, they replace it. They do not expect the actual bag to last a life-time - even though, if it ends up in the ocean, it will.
- Most plastic bags for life are advertised as 100% recyclable. This still requires people to actually pop the used bag into a recycle bin. The latest data suggests only around 45.7% of UK household plastic waste is recycled .
Should I Tote it?
It depends entirely what reuse you can commit to. Cotton bags can last a long time with care, but you have to commit to actually reusing them. Their carbon footprint is higher than an average reusable plastic bag - you will need to reuse a typical cotton tote bag at least 173  times to break even.
At Tecorra, we are committed to minimising plastic waste and we stock a small range of high quality organic cotton bags. The best thing you can do is reuse what you have, and buy only what you need, when you need it.