Seriously, about two years ago I came across a plastic bag and I loved the decoration so much that I still have it today – unused, I should stress.
So, we all know plastic bags are bad, paper ones are ok but not brilliant, and reusable is best. Recently in France on a buying trip I asked a friend for a plastic bag to wrap some stinky cheese up in before flying back. To my amazement, she did not have a single one in the house – it was ages since she saw one she explained. (France started reducing plastic bag usage in 2002 and banned disposable ones from supermarkets in 2016).
I have hundreds – doing a house clearance recently resulted in a massive pile. Over the years, I’ve been keeping plastic bags and it seems I am not alone. Hubby (bless him) loves to fold them up neatly (to save space, apparently). Me? Well, I’m a scrunch and stuff person – he would iron them if he could!
When selling at markets, I still find people want a bag – sometimes to protect the object, others times to carry it. OK, there are increasing numbers who will be carrying a bag already but surprisingly this is much fewer than those who go food shopping with reusable bags. Here in Scotland, there’s a 5p carrier bag charge for new single-use bags (plastic or paper) but as a trader committed to recycling, I don’t have to charge that as long as my customer is reusing a bag that’s already had a life. My hope is that it will get a third and fourth use once it goes home with my customer.
So, I take used bags with me to events. There seem to be three types:
- Highly decorated paper bags – usually gift bags for Christmas and Birthdays with ribbon or string handles, often given and kept but not often used. I store these folded and separated by event and then placed inside a larger bag for ease of transport.
- Thin and relatively small vegetable-type bags you bring your onions home in – they can’t take much weight but can be useful as bags within the customers own bag. I store these in a tea tin, folded and then pushed in – you can get a lot in and then pull one out at a time.
- Regular plastic bags – these are good for larger objects and if there is no other bag for the customer to put their item in. They are bulkier (even after hubby has folded them) so we can’t take too many to each event.
One day, I hope I will run out of bags to give away AND never be asked for one again, but until then I collect, store and reuse.