My dad rang Friday while I was at Borough Market to let me know he'd just heard on the radio that Tesco were going to reward customers who brought their own bags in which to pack their shopping. I think he thought I'd be pleased.
Against my better judgement I do use Tesco when I have to but I do use my own bags. My mum has caught onto the idea of reducing rather than recycling but she doesn't do the shopping. She writes the list and dad duly toddles off to Sainsbury's. She kept trying to send him with bags but he forgets them. I found a collection in the front garden on a recent Sunday morning visit - she'd thrown them at his departing back.
Dad explained to me you'll get a clubcard point for each bag you took with you. I quite bluntly took the wind out of his sails by pointing out I snapped my clubcard in half quite some time ago.
Saturday's financial pages in the Guardian had a complete article on the issue. It made me quite livid.
Germany has charged for carrier bags for as long as I can remember. Ireland, likewise, has a 10p tax on plastic bags. This has reduced demand by 93% over four years. That's some saving on the 1.2bn handed out willy-nilly previously.
Our supermarkets and government do not have the balls to make a similar decision and so it is up to us environmentally-minded consumers to try and make a difference. I haven't regularly used bags from the supermarket for nine or ten years. I am really quite proud of my motley collection. Here are just a few.