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Plastic bags and the consumer: The search for another way to shop
Plastic bags and the consumer: The search for another way to shop
Jill Park, Packaging News, 04 February 2009
 
If 2009 is going to be a hard year for the economy, it's also going to be tough for the humble single-use carrier bag. Supermarkets have pledged to halve their use by this spring and the national media's campaign against them has not gone away.
 
What's more, the creator of the 'I'm Not a Plastic Bag' designer bags for life, Anya Hindmarch, was given an MBE in last month's New Year's Honours list.
 
But while national sentiment seems to be set against the plastic bag, the packaging industry has been arguing for years that, in environmental terms, it is the least of society's problems. After all, plastic carrier bags account for just 0.2% of waste in the average dustbin, according to the Packaging and Films Association (PAFA).
 
They are also light, waterproof and cheap to produce - especially with the oil price falling. What's more, PAFA has argued that Ireland's decision to charge a levy on single-use carriers has backfired, leading to a net increase in imports of all plastic bags into the country.
 

So why are people still moving away from single-use carriers? We spoke to some of their biggest detractors to find out.

 
 
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