By in Breaking News

Ketch yerseils on!

Plastic Bag Tax

A plastic bag tax has recently been imposed in England. It means you have to pay 5p (about 7c) for a plastic bag if you need one to carry your purchases home. People are complaining about paying 5p, they are stealing wire baskets and trolleys from supermarkets to carry their purchases home and security staff in supermarkets are chasing after customers who are carrying their purchases in the wire baskets.

Why the Tax?

Plastic bags usually only get used once and then end up in landfill. They get blown about by the wind and form a ragged decoration on trees and hedges. They get blown into fields and eaten by cattle, who die They are produced from oil. For all these reasons, the government is trying to reduce the use of plastic bags. Adding a tax on the use of single use plastic bags (the proceeds of which are used for environmental projects) is a way of reducing their use.

Applies to Northern Ireland

We have had this tax in Northern Ireland for several years (and so has Wales). I don't recall any of the silly shenanigans or complaints here when it was introduced. Maybe because it was introduced even earlier in the Republic of Ireland, so people here in the north were used to the thought of it.

Carry a Reusable Bag

Just carry your own reusable bag when you go shopping. What's so difficult about that? Or perhaps you would like a little cheese with that whine?

Linguistics note

The title, Ketch yerseils on! is how the words would sound if spoken by a Northern Ireland person - it is "Catch yourselves On"! It means, "don't be silly"

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markgraham wrote on October 24, 2015, 4:04 PM

I am suppose to have a few relatives still living in Wales somewhere. I agree with you that bags that can be reusable should be used. That is what we do personally here in the states. I believe in recycling.

JohnRoberts wrote on October 24, 2015, 4:11 PM

We have this law here in most parts of California and it has caused negative issues. Longer line waits because now the customer bags his purchases and how would you like to be in the grocery store line behind those who take an hour to bag their items. Yeah it's easy to bring your own bags, but how many at a time? Don't forget to bring them in and not find yourself at checkout realizing you forgot them then you have to pay and buying plastic bags does not help the environment, does it? . The environmental reasoning does not fly. People are buying plastic bags like crazy (I have witnessed) and there has been no noticeable reduction in litter. It's a money making scheme supported by grocery stores. They do not have to give away bags (a monetary loss) and now turn a nice profit selling bags. This became law here BECAUSE of the grocery industry lobby smelling a profit opportunity using the go green excuse. Environmental concerns are being exploited right and left for profit in ways that only give the illusion of benefiting the environment. If there was real concern about the environment, then the world would go back 50 years when PAPER bags were used. Paper is biodegradable and trees are a renewable source (witness the commercial forests of Washington where a tree is planted for every tree cut). But there's NO PROFIT in giving away paper bags.

Kasman wrote on October 24, 2015, 4:17 PM

My wife and I do a major grocery shop once a fortnight and we use about 10 bags each time. At 5p a bag that adds up to 50p - not enough to persuade us to stop using them! We also use them as rubbish bags and bin liners so they aren't truly ''single use'' bags at all. I think a better idea would be to make them from recyclable materials (this is already done for our recycled food waste bags provided by the local authority) and charge 10p for each one. It still wouldn't stop us from using them but at least they would biodegrade.

MegL wrote on October 24, 2015, 4:45 PM

We have bagged our own goods here for years, no problem. The tax is paid to the government quartdrlyand used for environmental projects

Feisty56 wrote on October 24, 2015, 4:55 PM

I was laughing out loud, reading about people stealing shopping carts and baskets so they didn't have to pay for plastic bags!

MegL wrote on October 24, 2015, 5:02 PM

Before the law came, and when I was still in work, I used to carry my own bags with me at lunchtime. If I remembered them, I gave myself 5p for a reward. It soon mounted up and it reminded me to take the bags

melody23 wrote on October 24, 2015, 5:05 PM

I thought Wales had it first? We have had it here for a year now and according to the news a few nights ago there were something like eight million less plastic bags used in Scotland over the last year compared to previous years. We had no fights over it here at all really, but then we are used to ridiculous things being tried out on us first (poll tax, smoking ban, minimum alcohol pricing to name a few)

MegL wrote on October 24, 2015, 5:09 PM if you can see it in the US.

MegL wrote on October 24, 2015, 5:12 PM

You're quite right. I will change the article when I get back on the computer. On tablet at minute

Feisty56 wrote on October 24, 2015, 6:00 PM

Unreal! And we're supposed to be the civilized societies!

As far as the money from the cost of the bags going to an environmental fund, it things work there as they do here in the States, it's true those monies will go to that fund, but it won't be any better off than it had been because the politicians re-route the government funding that used to go toward the environment.

Here, lotteries were first approved by the people because the profits were earmarked to go to public schools. Those smarmy politicians certainly put the profits there, but then took away the part of the budget that used to go to schools, meaning there's no more funding now than there ever was before we said yes to the lotteries.

wolfgirl569 wrote on October 24, 2015, 7:33 PM

I have heard of a few areas here in America doing that or just saying no plastic bags allowed. I do reuse them for many things myself until they fall apart. But have seen many blowing around also. I get very few with stopping at Sav A Lot for most of my shopping there you bag yourself and can use the empty boxes for free, bring your own bags, or buy from them. I just use the boxes

VinceSummers wrote on October 24, 2015, 7:52 PM

Plastic bags never should have been. It's an idiots' world, so they did catch on.

Paulie wrote on October 24, 2015, 11:46 PM

A plastic bag tax is not used in Thailand, however I have seen it used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Years ago I went shopping at a discount store in the States where you had to bring your own boxes or bags.