Four complaints about giving up plastic bags that you can definitely get over

OPINION: In October 2015, the UK introduced a charge of 5p (about 10c) on all plastic bags for any retailer that employs 250 or more full-time members. 

New Zealand is following suit, sort of. Both New World and Countdown are aiming to be single-use plastic bag free by 2019. The government is yet to take action on bags.

As someone who lived in the UK during this plastic-free transition and came out of the other side reasonably sane (subjectively speaking), I've complied a list of gripes we all had to go through and why the levy is actually pretty awesome.


Yes it bloody well will. In England, usage plummeted by a whopping 85 per cent by July 2016. Only 500 million bags were given out in the first six months. The previous year it was 7 billion. 

That's almost an entire nation with a population of 53 million (which is roughly 10 times more than NZ, give or take), adapting to change in less than a year. 

It's worked so well that UK supermarket Tesco is now scrapping the sale of plastic bags altogether. That's fantastic news, because our plastic consumption has an absolutely devastating impact on the earth.

Our oceans are being swamped with eight million tons of the stuff annually. We're murdering sea turtles, and that kind of makes us massive jerks. 


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Last updated 07:19, December 4 2017

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