Oh dear

This doesn\’t look good.

Customers in Wales are to be charged up to 15p per carrier bag.

Other parts of Britain are expected to folbow by introducing the tax aimed at reducing the number of plastic bags which take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

They don\’t take 1,000 years to degrade, but that\’s not the important point here.

Ireland launched a 15 cent bag tax in 2002 – cutting their use by 90 per cent and reducing litter.

I\’m pretty sure there\’s a report out there actually looking at total plastic bag use in Ireland after the change and it led to an increase in total usage, not a fall. Anyone remember what it was called?

6 comments on “Oh dear

  1. I always assumed that the “1000 years to biodegrade” figure was true.

    What are the correct figures, or even better, where can I find them?

  2. Given that my Tesco bags tend to fall apart before i’ve even reached my car i reckon 1,000 years is a bit of a stretch…

  3. There’s a couple of points of interest here. First is that if a tax on carrier bags is justifiable on the grounds that they take n years to degrade (and this is assumed to be BAD), why not zero-rate bags that degrade more quickly, to preferentially encourage their use? Second is that if you buy your groceries from Tesco Online, you can choose whether you get it in carrier bags. I opt for bags, which I then re-use for purposes related to cat hygiene. If carrier bags were banned (or heavily taxed), I would need to buy other bags.

  4. I’m not sure what happened to this process but it seems like we have solved the problem

    http://news.therecord.com/News/CanadaWorld/article/354044

    “Now a Waterloo teenager has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster — in three months, he figures.

    Daniel Burd’s project won the top prize at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. He came back with a long list of awards, including a $10,000 prize, a $20,000 scholarship, and recognition that he has found a practical way to help the environment.”

  5. “Now a Waterloo teenager has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster — in three months, he figures.”

    I’m not convinced this is a good idea. Perhaps I was exposed to ‘Mutant 59’ at an impressionable age.

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