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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:29 PM
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Independent UK: Billions fewer plastic bags handed out
Billions fewer plastic bags handed out
Shops' cutbacks could stave off government plan to charge for carriers

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Shops gave out 3.5 billion fewer plastic bags last year under a voluntary scheme which has, for now, headed off the threat of a government ban on free carrier bags. Figures from Wrap, the Government's anti-waste body, show that the number of plastic bags dispensed fell from 13.4 billion in 2007 to 9.9 billion last year, a drop of 26 per cent.

Wrap said that when taking into account increased recycled content in the bags, the use of virgin materials in the bags had been slashed by 40 per cent, well above the 25 per cent target set in 2007. Supermarkets have now agreed a target of reducing the number of bags by 50 per cent from 2006 levels by May. But the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), while welcoming the new figures, warned that it would retain the option of introducing a charge for bags if stores failed to honour their commitments.

Environmental campaigners lambaste plastic bags as one of the worst excesses of consumerism. The bags waste resources and end up in landfill, scattered across the countryside or swirling round the seas, where they choke and kill marine life, particularly turtles. Several countries have banned the bags, including Rwanda, Bhutan, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Zanzibar and Botswana.

In the UK, 21 leading supermarkets and high street chains agreed in February 2007 to cut bag waste by 25 per cent. Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, introduced loyalty points for customers reusing bags, helping slash the number of bags by two billion, and other stores such as Sainsbury's have moved bags from the bagging area, putting the onus on customers to request them. As a result, shoppers have become more used to reusing carrier bags or buying sturdier, long-lasting alternatives such as jute bags. "Consumers deserve congratulations for these results as they clearly show we are moving away from using bags once to re-using bags often," said Liz Goodwin, Wrap's chief executive. "They are also a credit to retailers who have worked hard to find innovative ways of helping us reuse our bags." .........(more)

The complete piece is at:

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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:12 PM
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1. Why can other nations do stuff like this so quickly, and in America it takes a decade to reduce 10%?
Why are so fucking dumb that way? What is it about America that is so fucking unwilling to just do what needs to be done?

Instead of some bullshit "reduce CO2 emissions by 10% by 2025", or "Recycle 25% of our recyclable stuff by 2030" long-term asshole crap.

Fucking hell.

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:15 PM
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2. The whole Dick Cheney "The American Way of Life is Non-Negotiable" thing.....
We'll pollute and consume and bomb as we please.....SCREW THE PLANET!!! .... or at least until an economic collapse halts us in our tracks.

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