Yesterday retailers across Scotland brought in the 5p charge for single use carrier bags. This applies to all retailers, whatever their size, and to all types of single use bags, whether they're made from plastic, paper or biodegradable materials.
Similar charges in Wales and Northern Ireland have lead to a dramatic 75-80 per cent reduction in bags used.
Less use means less impact on the
environment and reduced litter levels. Carrier bags are a major and unsightly element of litter in and around Edinburgh, as I know particularly from my volunteer work with the Water of Leith Conservation Trust.
So, make sure you have a reusable cloth carrier bag in your pocket or in your handbag at all times. But remember, cloth bags use more energy in their production than do single use bags, so don't be tempted to collect excessive numbers of cloth carrier bags (In our house we have cloth carrier bags for different purposes (eg one for recycling, one for carrying my equipment for volunteering with the Water of Leith Trust) and store them in different places to minimise the chance of being in a shop and finding ourselves without a carrier bag (a couple stored on strategic door knobs and cupboard door handles, one in each of my handbags and one in my rucksack).
You can read more about the carrier bag charge on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website.
You can read my earlier blog about this topic (complete with photos of two of my re-usable carrier bags) here.
As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.