“Would you like a bag for life?”
Bags For Life. We see them in almost every shop, in every size and every colour imaginable. But are they worth it? Are these bags really any better than their 5p counterparts? It’s time to find out.
Today, we're going to show you why a Bag For Life is the best thing you can invest in.
1. They’re an investment
Buying a Bag For Life is like investing in a good, quality Winter coat - it will serve you much better than a cheap one. Unlike plastic bags, which strain under a carton of orange juice, a Bag For Life will be able to carry all the bottles for your biggest party of the year without any problem.
Not only will this save you the embarrassment of dropping your wares in the street, but also reduce the need to buy a replacement and subsequently have less impact on the environment.
2. Bags For Life save on plastic
We all know plastic bags aren’t good for the environment, but do we realise to what extent? Although picking up a plastic bag at the checkout is a flippant decision, their consequences last (more) than a lifetime - a plastic bag requires 400 to 1,000 years to completely break down in the environment.
During this time, they photodegrade, becoming smaller but no less toxic over time. These smaller particles often lead to soil and waterway contamination and are easily mistaken for food by animals. Plastic bags alone are responsible for over 100,000 sea turtle deaths a year.
Buying a Bag For Life removes the need for temporary plastic bags, and reduces the devastating impact on the environment – every time you use one you could be saving a sea turtle - imagine that!
3. You never know when you might need one
Until the 5p levy was introduced, it was easy to be unaware of how many plastic bags we used. Whether it's a jumper you can’t resist, or remembering you need to pick some groceries up on the way home, it’s surprising how many times a week we need bags.
Finding yourself without one can be frustrating, especially when you know there’s a surplus of them lying around at home.
The answer? A Bag For Life. Fold one up in your main bag, and you’ll always be prepared, no matter what shops you happens to unintentionally find yourself in.
4. Bage For Life reduce litter
57% of Britains think litter is a problem in their area, and the UK’s litter problem costs taxpayers an astonishing £1 billion each year.
Plastic bags contribute heavily to the litter problem, evidence of which can be seen on the UK’s coastlines. Over 50% of litter found on UK beaches in 2008 was plastic litter, an increase of more than 120% since 1994.
Since the 5p charge for bags was introduced in October 2015, plastic bag usage has seen an 85% decrease, whilst the purchasing of Bags For Life has increased dramatically – more than 9 in 10 people now take their own bag when shopping.
5. They look nice!
Bags For Life are no longer just a functional item, they’re a fashionable one too. There are loads of gorgeous Bags For Life on the market to choose from, in all different colours, patterns and styles.
There are big Bags For Life, small Bags For Life, bags For Life that have handbag hooks, collapsible Bags For Life - there is a Bag For Life for everyone, so there really is no excuse not to have one.
Start making a Bag For Life an integral part of your outfits today and you’ll not only get a cool new accessory but be doing the environment a whole lot of good too.
What's your favourite thing about Bags For Life? Let us know in the comments below!
I've given up on recycling plastic I sent emails to English and welsh governments, they could not give a monkeys I have ideas that would reduce waste by 90% they never asked what ideas . Bags for life are worse the biggest producers' supermarkets sell a bag that has 3 - 4 ordinary bags by weight which I use as a bin liner. I used to run a factory churning out 20,000 tons a year, bag for life usage has gone up yes there is no small bag choice if you only sell pink cars eventually pink car figures show an increase. I started plastic recycling in 1984 I can tell the difference between many types even the ones we bin that can be reused . I started this journey tackling our government months ago when I refused a cotton bag . If I remember right 60 million to clean up the seas 7 billion research a bit industry bias that would be 100 million per person . If you want to know how to reduce usage ASK I will tell you its free .
We'd love to hear your ideas on reducing plastic usage, Morgan!
What they revealed in the BBC 3-part Documentary: The War on Plastic was shocking! I recycle as much as possible and reuse bags for life until they're worn out. I never thought about all the plastic we used that ends up in landfill, I used to love Kinder Egg toys but now I wouldn't support them!
It's scary to think of how much of a crisis our planet is in! It's good to hear that people like yourself are taking the small steps needed to make a change.
I use cloth, hessian or wicker baskets when shopping. I always have one or two in my shoulder bag (which is knitted). I have to buy meat etc. from shops in whatever they are sold in as butchers (when you can find one) are more expensive. Even by using natural bags, there is so much plastic out there. We need to stop producing it in order to stop using it.
Carrier bags don't automatically end up in the sea or in the soil. It all depends on the ethics of the person who owns the bag, and decides to discard it when its life is over. There are ways to ensure that your unwanted bag goes to somewhere where it will be recycled. Supermarkets will accept worn-out bags. There is never any need to dispose of plastic items in your general waste, which is unfortunately sent to landfill. I must have 50 5p carriers on the pantry shelf at home, because I often forget to take one with me when I go shopping. Therefore, the shop sells me a bag, and my stock holding increases. Why don't shops offer bags with a money deposit on them, refundable when the bag is returned in good order? That method would cut the demand for bags by a huge amount.
That's very true! I suppose it is easier to spread the message that plastic = bad, but there's a lot more to it. Thanks for sharing!
I read somewhere that it is not environment friendly to produce the fabric bags either. I was also shocked at how much plastic wrapping (cling film) is used by factories when packing their final products for distribution (Inside the Factory). All the electronic gadgets that expire within a year or two after manufacture because the manufacturers refuse to make recyclable batteries for them. There is tech mountain or two in the developing countries where most of our waste plastic goes on the basis of out of sight out of mind.
That is very sad to hear!
I think the stores need to have a new way of replacing the bag4life as most people are embarrassed to ask for a new one so they buy another which defeats the object of bag4life, I keep telling my ex to take the holey bag in the shop and exchange it for another but he won't so he buys a new one most weeks and the old ones just end up in the recycling the same as the old plastic bags and the amount of plastic in them is equal to quite a few old type bags so if stores were to offer a different incentive to returning the holey bags and not just get a replacement but maybe a donation to charity it might reduce the embarrassment factor
That's a shame, Patricia! If it helps, I used to work in a supermarket and had people replacing old bags quite often. I'm sure most supermarket assistants are used to it and don't judge. Still, it's a great idea to put an alternative solution in place!
The bags for life are excellent for putting your recycling in, take it to the skips and then do your shopping! Sorting laundry into who’s who, carrying it up to their rooms for them to put away 🤷🏼♀️ So many usages 😊
I remember when flimsy plastic carrier bags were being forced on us even for a single purchase so it's no wonder customers got fed up and gave the plastic bag back and campaigned for a plastic bag charge. In a motorway service station branch of WH Smiths I had a glossy magazine placed in the flimsiest of plastic bags which split within seconds but no receipt. They were pushed on us as alternative to a receipt. Once I bought a sandwich already in a paper bag and it was put into two flimsy plastic bags which I then deposited on the counter. In the 70's all plastic bags were like the 'bags for life' and weren't flimsy and ripped on the way home if you had bought tins of food or anything in a glass bottle or jar. Then they became flimsier and flimsier from the late 70's onwards and plastic replaced tin and glass because the bags couldn't hold them for long. As long as the reusable bags cost at least £1 they won't be seen as disposable and dumped as litter.
Plastic bags used to be more durable but became thinner over time due to cost-cutting measures. Charging a fee for bags can incentivize people to use reusable bags, but it's important to ensure that these bags are durable and designed for long-term use.
I’ve always used cloth bags when dirty put in washer but I’d love a spare
That's a good idea!
Hi.. I have at least a dozen of them..used them for years.. always take them on my main shop.. I just use them all the time.. Come on everyone and get on board with a bag for life.. well worth it..👍😃
That's great to hear!
Is it true you can take your damaged bag for life to supermarket to exchange for a new one free ?
It might need to have the words "bag for life" on it, and it might only be certain supermarkets that offer this, but it's worth a try. We've heard Tesco will do it.
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