Starting off super simple – Let’s all say no to plastic bags.
That was a short article, right?
Please, humour me and allow me to expand.
Reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill every year is as easy as replacing the uncouth plastic bag of the past with a fancy tote bag. Do you have one yet? They are hard to avoid, I have about 10, even one bearing the emblem of Feltham Young Offenders Institute, courtesy of Josh. Not from a stint in there may I add, he finds himself in prison a lot with his work. I have collected some from all over the place and they come in super handy. We all have a favourite though, right? I have two.
I can’t believe it took us this long to realise how wasteful it is to use plastic bags for our daily or weekly food shop. All our lives up until the 5p charge was put in place we used them without a second thought. I am talking to myself here, I was rather clueless.
At first hearing of the charge, I was quite shocked, “What they want us to pay for plastic bags, the cheek of some people,” I believe were my exact words. But upon learning that it has reduced the amount of bags we use in England by 83%, well, I think a round of applause is in order.
It seems that parting ways with an extra 5p was the kick start we needed to end our relationship with plastic bags, and this leads me to ask the question, why were we ever so attached to them in the first place?
They Used To Break So Easily
Back in my uni days when buying alcohol was more important than food, who do you think learnt the hard way to double bag? Anyone else? The number of times the bag split in two leaving me to juggle my purchases all the way home, dropping bottles along the way. Once a lovely lady saw me struggling and gave me one of her bags, I have never forgotten that. I am still grateful.
I am also grateful that there is no need to double bag anymore. My trusty tote bag would never split in half leaving me stranded surrounded by bottles of beer.
Tote 1 – Plastic – 0
The Ever Growing Bag of Bags
I don’t believe anyone who says at one time in their life they didn’t have at least one plastic bag filled to the brim with other plastic bags. Observational comedians have mocked us for it and it is funny because it is true.
There have been times when we just have too many bags to cope with, they live under the sink or in an unloved cupboard, just sitting and waiting till you run out of bin bags to be made useful again.
We have it just the same as anyone else, I am not going to pretend we don’t. Everyone makes a mistakes and sometimes forgets to take a bag out from time to time. Now bags are on our before we leave the house checklist. “Keys? Check. Phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Bags? Quickly go and grab one.”
If only we had 5p for every time I have asked Josh to go back and grab them as we walk through the door. Never the less am happy to have a less overflowing bag of bags in my life.
Tote 2 – Plastic 0
No More Free Advertising For Supermarkets
Not only are totes more stylish, but they give us an opportunity to say something. Like our clothes, the things we carry around with us have the power to convey a message. Now that message can be printed bold as brass all over the side of your tote bag, if that is what you desire. Personally, I love a slogan tote, passers-by might subconsciously read it, implanting a thought and that is pretty cool.
Not all tote bags have to have a slogan, some are just pretty; it might say, Mondays suck, down with Patriarchy, be covered in pretty flowers, or even a dog wearing sunglasses. I have a mixture, any of those options sure are more fun than a bright orange Sainsbury’s logo.
Have you ever read a slogan bag someone is carrying and agreed with it? Then just felt content that someone else in the world just gets it. Then you make eye contact and try to give the carrier a bit of a nod to say well done, well done indeed. It has happened to me a couple of times and it sure does make travelling on the tube more fun.
Tote 3 – Plastic – 0
Fashion and functionality combined in one perfect union
Was it just me who as a kid could think of nothing less cool than carrying your trainers to school in an Asda carrier bag, needs must though and all that. Well, thank you trusty tote bag for helping us never have to be caught committing this fashion faux pas again. Also, thank you for helping us avoid that digging in hand numbing sensation of carrying heavy plastic shopping bags all the way home. Throw it over your shoulder and off you go. Bag lady life never felt so good.
Tote 4 – Plastic 0
Actions no matter how small can make a big difference, believe me, (If it wasn’t for that lady giving me a bag in my first week of uni, I would probably still be struggling with my bottles of beer.) They say in 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish and this is just not acceptable. We all love the sea, we are a nation of sea lovers. Going to the Beach is our way of relaxing and escaping; so from a totally selfish point of view, we need to make sure it stays that way. Nice and blue and clean.
From a non-selfish perspective, can I just say two words? David. Attenborough. Let’s promise to not let him down. He is so great. Blue Planet I & II, we all watched it in awe, how amazing is the ocean, and all the animals that live in it. The recent TV series spoke to the nation. Seeing in HD how beautiful the world can really be, but also the sad effect our plastic addiction is having. It is heartbreaking to see.
Since the program aired we have seen more people than ever try to cut plastic out of their daily lives, more people than ever are demanding government actions, like the proven to work 5p bag charge, which is just amazing. How refreshing to see our televisions creating real motivation for positive change.
Some people say one person won’t make a difference, I disagree. Can you imagine a world where no one used a plastic bag to shop for food or retail ever again? That would be so great!
The results are in whether you are out shopping for clothes or food, reusable bags are more durable, more comfortable and much cooler than plastic, and create a really easy alternative to do your bit for the environment. You might even save a bit of money, all those 5p’s add up. Plastic bags are generally used once and last for hundreds of years. Personally, I want to limit that impact as much as possible.
I hereby solemnly swear that I will do my best to never use plastic bags ever again and to be prepared with my trusty tote. Who’s with me?
At this point you are asking yourself how long can a girl ramble on about a tote bag, well turns out I really am that boring, I choose to spend my evenings typing out 1,364-word articles about the simple act of carrying a little cotton bag. Try not to pity me, instead, please subscribe to our blog today and pledge to stop using plastic bags forever. You will make this girl very happy that her time was put to good use.
Have a great day, be epic.
Love Lottie xx