In the course of recent years, reusable plastic shopping bags started appearing in grocery stores in numerous parts of the world. They are sturdier than the flimsy plastic bags that have become a symbol of the global movement against disposable plastics, thus can be utilized commonly, loaning to their marketing as the ethical choice for the environmentally cognizant customer.
Obviously, these thicker bags require more plastic to make. That implies they could possibly improve the overall situation on the off chance that they prompted stores handing out overall less plastic, by volume, than they would without them—by, state, supplanting a huge number of single-utilize plastic bags a customer may some way or another utilization throughout the years. Since regardless of the style of a plastic bag, it will even now add to the global issue of always waste entering the environment, and the greenhouse gases related to assembling the bag from fossil fuels in the first place.
Be that as it may, it appears they haven’t. A new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace seeing markets in the UK proposes that the plastic “bags for life” absolutely failed to do the one thing they were apparently intended to. So far in 2019, the top 10 UK markets detailed selling 1.5 billion of these bags, which represents roughly 54 “bags for life” per household in the UK.
For comparison, the top eight UK grocery retailers—representing over 75% of the market—sold 959 million such bags in 2018.
Some market chains have seen especially huge spikes in sales. The frozen-nourishment store Iceland sold 10 times more plastic “bags for life” this year, 34 million, than last.
The UK presented a 5-pence charge for plastic bags in 2015, and the government asked customers to rather bring their very own reusable “bags for life,” which prompted a surge in acquiring of the reusable plastic bags from markets.
“Our survey reveals huge rise in the sale of plastic ‘bags for life,’ demonstrating the inadequacy of the current policy which is clearly not providing a strong enough incentive for people to stop using ‘bags for life’ as a single-use option,” the report reads.
Overall, those equivalent stores expanded the volume of plastic packaging they put out—including the “bags for life”— by 18,739 tons (17,000 metric tons) from 2017 to 2018. “It’s shocking to see that despite unprecedented awareness of the pollution crisis, the amount of single-use plastic used by the UK’s biggest supermarkets has actually increased,” the EIA’s Juliet Phillips told the Guardian. The markets’ plastic-footprint increment was caused in part by the reusable plastic bags.
“We have replaced one problem with another,” Fiona Nicholls, a Greenpeace UK campaigner who is one of the report’s authors, told the New York Times. “Bags for life have become bags for a week.” The bags, the report says, should be banned. Instead, customers could bring their own bags to the market. “When we go shopping, we should remember our bags like we remember our phones.”
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Sounder Mirror journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.