I thought it might be useful to mention the state of one of the environmentalists' mindless crusades over in the UK.
- Sainburys - no problem, give you a bag
- Tescos - same
- Waitrose - same
- M&S - same
There are a few other supermarkets to try, but they are a bit of a distance away.
So far I have found two places which refuse to give bags:
- B&Q - a hardware shop, is charging 5p per bag. I had accumulated quite a few things around the store. but left with only what I could carry (3 items)
- M&S motorway stops - these are a relatively new invention, and are basically convenience food places in petrol stations and motorway stops. They charge for bags (not sure how much) but to get around this they give you little bags
The B&Q side is bizarre since hardware stores are one place where you often end up with lots of little bits and pieces. I will not be shopping there again, it is just too much hassle.
The M&S motorway case is even worse. Here you have a store which specialises in convenience food. Everything is packaged in plastic. It is a fairyland of packaging technologies. I dont think there is one item in the store which is not in plastic packaging. Even the fruit. Yet they charge for plastic carrier bags! This is why I describe the plastic bag fetish as mindless. The store which is most obsessed with stuffing everything in plastic containers is the one that charges for plastic bags! But worse, they put everything in little bags so you end up with 3 bags instead of 1! Almost no one leaves there with a carrier bag, but lots of little ones instead. Mindless zombies the lot of them.
Most stores offer 'eco-bags' for sale in prominent positions. Most times they ask if you want a bag rather than just giving you one, unless it is obvious that you need one. Quite a lot of people turn up with these bags or some other arrangement - I would guess a third, but it is early days. I am happy enough with this arrangement and I think most people are. It is a bit obsessive, given that plastic bags are actually of no importance to the planet, but it doesn't really matter. It will blow over.
More important is the pollution from the start-stop nature of UK traffic, but more on that another time.