Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Have you got your bag?

I've got steam coming out of my ears here, should have asked Nellie to write this post. She isn't around so I will get it off my chest while I have a few minutes. It's in the news again, free plastic carrier bags are to be phased out at the checkouts. It's been in the pipeline for years, but we seem to be moving a step forward and there will be a charge of 5p per bag to be introduced next year. Read all about it in the Daily Wail.
While you're at it, read the comments following the article, that's the reason I have steam coming out of my ears. I am all in favour of reducing the amount of bags that are given away willynilly, and all in favour of re using what we already have, but a lot of people just don't get it. The whinging and moaning is pathetic. Here are some of the reasons why folks are angry, and my answers.
Just another ploy to make more money out of people. No. You can buy one bag for life usually around 10p, and when it is broken they will exchange it free of charge for a new one. 
Let's add to the already high cost of living. You don't need to buy plastic bags if you don't want to. Take re usable bags with you every time you go shopping.
These bags come in handy as bin liners, that's recycling isn't it? No, you throw them out in the rubbish, one use in a bin isn't recycling. 
Don't forget to launder your re-usable bag after every use, to kill the nasty organisms they pick up. For goodness sake !&?!@!+! cough splutter. !!! So all the food you buy is unwrapped?
I go to the supermarket after work, does that mean I have to go to work with a bag every time I go out? You can get bags that fold up very small, just put it in your hand bag, they take up very little space. 
Why should we pay to advertise the store? You don't have to. Buy a bag that doesn't have a logo on it, or make your own. 
I wouldn't pay 5p for a bag and will shop elsewhere. Your choice. You don't have to pay 5p every time you shop, just get a stronger bag for a one off payment and you can use it over and over again. 
I can't be bothered to remember to take bags with me when I go shopping. You can pay for them every time you shop then if you have the money to throw away. Your choice.
At this point I had to stop reading, it's doing my head in, ha ha. 

I've been looking for vids on the bag for ;life subject.


Here is one with a bit of humour.

An easy tutorial to make a tote bag. 
I do it slightly different to this. My handles are shorter, but you can make them longer if you want to sling it over your shoulder. I also tuck the ends of the handles into the top seams if the fabric isn't too heavy and bulky. I make a box bottom by stitching across the bottom corners. Have a go at this one if you own a machine and see how you go. 

One I made last week.  

Anyone up for making their first bag, do your bit for the environment, and your purse. If you don't want to pay for your bags every time you go shopping get into the habit now of taking them with you, putting them back into the car every time you empty them so the are always there. If you don't drive, keep a fold up bag in your handbag. You can fold up the 10p plastic bags for life very small, and put them in your pocket. Do your bit for the planet, please get organised, think, 'have I got my bag', every time you step out of the front door. Thank you.
Toodle pip.

58 comments:

  1. Hear, hear! I think they should go even further and charge a quid per bag. x

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    1. Agree with that, Vix. Then people might eventually get the message.

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  2. I couldn't have said it better myself hun. People just don't get it do they? Your bag you sent has been used sooooo much and I always take my own when I am off to the shops. And I make hubby keep them in his car boot to, just in case.

    X x

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  3. Gr8 post with an imp message!

    X

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  4. Danneke here Been watching the opening of Parliament and the Queens speech and yes its legislated that all plastic bags will cost the shopper 5p per bag . I have used my own hession or tote bags for years now but I do see young women with loads of plastic bags full of frozen or packet foods spilling out of trolleys and carts. Does anyone in society buy fresh unwrapped stuff these days????

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    1. Hi Danneke, thanks for keeping us updated with your latest operation. Hope things are healing up nicely for you.

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  5. People love to complain. They'll get over themselves eventually and someday forget they ever loved those flimsy plastic things and love to show off their expensive designer bags. I'm so proud of the UK for taking this step and hope that the US will follow. The videos were fun!

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    1. I wonder why you would hope the USA will follow? Perhaps you live here? I live in Virginia. Thankfully it is a state that does not make personal decisions for it's population. The problem isn't the plastic bags because they are brought back to the store and recycled into new items. The problem is with people. Not taking responsibility for themselves. No law will change that. Perhaps there are so many laws that people are over burdened with being told what to do. The amount of laws goes right back to the fact that people no longer do the right thing, but rather try to get away with everything they can. Perhaps a lack of ethics could be said. If a law is needed for bags then there better be laws prohibiting fresh meat and produce from being wrapped in plastic. Meat was chosen at the time of purchase and wrapped in paper. But then people complained about the trees. One day, in the not too distant future, we won't need to think for ourselves. Just read the government rules and regulations. A handbook given at birth. I know my views are not popular. But I tend to look at the big picture when I evaluate a situation. What I see is a prison we brought upon ourselves. All of this said, I use my own bags and get 5 cents for every one I use. It's so much more pleasant this way.

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    2. You know, I'd forgotten about that! In the U.S. anyway, they replaced paper wrap and paper grocery bags in the market because we were destroying rain forests and the ecosystem by cutting down trees for paper production. The plastic came about because it's recyclable. In fact, in our coastal CA area, before they were outlawed, the plastic grocery bags had the recycle symbol on them because they were made from recycled plastic bottles. Almost 2 years since the ban, so many consumers were complaining about grocery totes that couldn't be washed (purchased for $1 each from the stores), reports were published about all the bacteria, and so our stores now sell plastic coated, fabric totes that can be washed for groceries. They are reusable. If you've got meat in your weekly purchase, you don't really want it leaking into paper or cloth bags. Paper bags are sold at check out for 10 cents each, though. Gone are the 5 cent per bags discounts for bringing your own bags. Someone, somewhere is making money from it all. Just not the consumers. And I guess paper is no longer causing destruction of rain forests?

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  6. We already have to pay 5pm in NI. I just remarked today to my DH about all the men going into shops with bags for life. It does not take long to get used to taking the bags with you.
    Sylvia

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  7. This has been in force for years in Belgium. You just have to get into the habit of bringing your own bags.
    However I partly agree with the fourth argument that you need to wash your reusable bags from time to time, but certainly not every day!
    Pol

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  8. Our town ( in the U.S.) stopped handing out plastic bags some time ago. People got used to it very fast!

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  9. I remember visiting Britain in the 1970s and no one gave out bags, your brought your basket/s to the grocery store. Non-grocery stores would wrap purchases up in paper. This must be the younger generation complaining, laughable. Definitely a First-world problem. Get real people.
    Marguerite

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  10. I am in Wales this week and they charge 5p per bag,

    One point I would offer, is that, when you take your donated goods to the charity shop, what do you take them in, as you don't want to leave your nice fabric bag there. I suggested we empty our bag before leaving the shop, but the ladies there looked very shocked and said they couldn't be doing with piles of stuff in the back of their shop, so I don't know what is the answer to that one?

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  11. I think it's a great idea. They've been charging for carrier bags in Southern Ireland for years, whenever we go over we think it's a fab idea.
    I shop at Aldi and Home bargains and take my own bags or I get a Tesco delivery and get it delivered without bags, so makes no difference to me anyway.
    I think the next thing to look at is recycling tetra packs.
    Twiggy

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    1. We can take tetra packs to our local civic amenities site for recycling . We rinse but only briefly with tiny drop of water and flatten and take to recycling centre only when we have to go near there for some other reason

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  12. xxx ps Daily Mail website always makes my ears steam, big women, little women, women who work, women who don't, women who have kids, women who don't , immigration, schools, nhs, gay marriage, you name it the DM and its readers seem to have something negative to say about it......

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  13. Are they real whingers? or do you think someone just made them up for added interest? Poor sad people.

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  14. Plastic grocery bags have been outlawed in our coastal California county since October 2012. Here's what I see... and my youngest son works at a grocery store, so I've got insights from him, too. First of all, California has recycling as part of our trash pickup and cost. We have a very large bin for yard waste, a large blue bin for all plastic, paper and metals and a small bin for trash. That said, in the stores (especially grocery) you'll still find countless items in plastic. Everything from meats, which are plastic wrapped on non-recyclable Styrofoam trays (did I mention the roll of plastic bags hanging to tuck any leaky meat packages in) to produce bags, to nearly all dairy products, bags of bargain priced cereals and more. People still buy plastic bag trash can liners, plastic storage bags for food, plastic lunch baggies, and bottled water by the case in plastic bottles. Neighbors walking their dogs scoop the poop and carry it in, yes, plastic bags. So while I'm not opposed to reusable, cloth shopping bags to reduce pollution at landfills, in truth and in practice it's like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. Seriously, even tampons come with plastic applicators and every bottle of over the counter or prescription pills comes in plastic. Yes, every little bit helps some, I suppose. We've seen no real difference here in the past almost 2 years.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. But you were more of a lady than I was with my comment.

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  15. Excellent arguments again Ilona. Agree with everything. I'm just in the process of making another bag. One observation though - when did the good old fashioned shopping bag get renamed as a tote bag?

    Linda xx

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  16. Charge a £1 a carrier yes - about time more folks took our wastefulness and waste issues seriously
    there are some folks you simply cant educate into being responsible citizens sadly

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    1. Linniecat, that's kind of why I posted what I did earlier (above and below). The fact that I keep a number of cloth shopping/tote bags in my car doesn't make me more responsible, intelligent or morally superior to people in other counties, states or countries who don't. An anonymous comment here explained her/his reasoning for using plastic grocery bags, and seemed to feel it necessary to explain all of the other ways she/he is environmentally careful. The battle in our county was like that. Anyone who disagreed for any reason was at best uninformed or ignorant and at worse selfish, callous and lazy. That's an awful lot to put on a plastic bag when we're surrounded by plastic in our everyday lives. Ilona's fabric bags are gorgeous, even artistic. Mine are plain. I love hers and admire her for making them, but don't feel I need to justify my own blah ones. Does anyone really need to justify what kind of bag their groceries are in?

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  17. Ilona, I'm truly (honestly) not trying to be a fly in the ointment as they say, and I really don't wish to add to your ire. The trouble is, pollution is a much larger, nearly impossible challenge in the modern world. We feel better when we use tote bags instead of plastic grocery bags; we believe we're doing something to make a difference. Unless one is living in the remote wilds completely off the grid, though, weaving their own cloth, hunting for or raising their own foods, not using any source of transportation that requires energy or even burning wood for heat (or to eat), our existence means we're polluting the earth. Take something as simple as shampoo. It is manufactured in a factory, bottled in plastic, and all materials need to be first shipped to various factories and then shipped out. Even for environmentally responsible brands. Even when solar heating is used to power the plant. There's still a LOT of pollution involved in something as simple as shampoo. Or toilet paper. Paper factories are notorious polluters, as are paper recycling plants. The very veggies you buy on yellow sticker sales, even if organically grown, have had to be shipped and from your pictures are packaged. Then there's the energy and (yes) pollution generated simply in the running of a store. Any store. Chemicals are used to keep it clean and sanitary. Those chemicals arrive in plastic containers. Even if rags are used for cleaning, the mere act of washing them means chemicals go into the water supply. Plastic grocery bags are the least of our worries and perhaps not worthy of getting our knickers in a knot over? If outlawing them makes us feel better. Okay. Let's say it's a great idea for everyone to use cloth shopping bags, and as I have about 15 of them, I won't argue the point. So long as we're willing to admit pretty much everything in our lives (right down to cat litter) has been manufactured and/or shipped and therefore created pollution. Do we throw our hands up in the air then? And give up? Nope. But living in an area where the arguments still rage on, it seems to hinder rather than help the problems. The real question is how do we work together to overhaul manufacturing, transportation, etc. to make a real difference?

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  18. I grew up before plastic bags were handed out at supermarkets so am used to taking my own bags, either in the car or a small zipped one in my handbag. Many cities in the US have banned free bags at the checkout and it's amazing how quickly shoppers catch on to taking their own bags.

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  19. 'I have a cumbabund that has seen more action..' (I don't know why but that made me cry laughing). I am pretty good at remembering my bags, I prefer the hessian style ones as I can stack things in them and they are so strong, I have had them years. It really is no hassle at all is it? Debbie

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  20. The difficulty is in not knowing when you are going to have to go shopping - i.e. when you have the time and convenience. I can put one fold up bag (that I made) into my bag (that I made) but I usually need about 8 altogether. I simply can't carry that lot around all day. I don't have transport either so they need to be strong. Also if I don't reuse the bags to put rubbish in (which I do), I just have to buy them anyway, so where is the saving on plastic in that? In fact when I have done to use, I unravel one from the roll of bin bags instead. I find personally that I just buy the bags. I need to, so I do. No deterrent at all and unless the shops take off the prices currently included in all goods for the plastic bags we get for 'free' then it is a way for supermarkets to make even more money.

    We should use less plastic but this way is not very effective. People work, they shop at inconvenient times on the hop. Most people don't have the convenience of having set shopping times where they can go armed with their arsenal of homemade bags. People are time poor these days.

    And charity shops? My favourite one used to supply used plastic bags. Now nothing. Sometimes that is just so inconvenient that the purchase is not made. Yet those same bags still exist in the world already.
    Sara

    Incidentally I am as green as you get otherwise. No holiday since 15 so no polluting transport local or abroad. Never take aeroplanes, don't drive, don't take cabs. Only walk or get the bus. I'm vegetarian and recycle and shop only at charity shops for my clothes. I think this bag thing is absolutely a red herring and saves no plastic at all. Like I said I still need them for my rubbish and I still need plastic for certain leaky shopping.

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    1. I just wondered how you manage to carry eight bags of shopping home if you have no car? And what is leaky shopping? Just wondered.

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  21. I bought a couple of the re-usable black bags from Home Bargains ages ago and they are still going strong. I got tired of supermarket bags splitting and digging into my hands if they were filled with anything more than a bag of flour. One of the worst re-uses for a plastic bag is people who fill them with doggy do and then hang the bag up to swing in the trees !

    Elaine, Oldham

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  22. Great post, I have bought a sewing machine at the weekend, and bags are on my list of things to make, I am a learner so thanks for the tutorial, I love all the bags you make x

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  23. P.S. I love all of your tote bags. They're so much stylish than my own plain ol' utilitarian ones. :-) Your blog is on my daily reading agenda. It was amazing following you on your walking holiday! Just so you know I wasn't trying in comments (above) to be a pooh head or to sound like a Troll. Your passion is inspirational.

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  24. We've been paying for our plastic bags here for years. It really isn't a bother. We learned to take our own with us. It is just something new there and humans everywhere resist change.

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  25. I made several out of old umbrellas , very colourful and extremely light and strong. Just snip the thread which attaches the material to the frame , wash and iron flat then cut your bag out. There are some lovely designs around and plenty to be had on a windy day lol. look up 'upcycling umbrellas' for more ideas.

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    1. Now that is a good idea, thanks Miriam. I will look that up. I once made a dog coat out of an umbrella.

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  26. Some of those responses are ridiculous, I can't believe some people. I gave up plastic bags years ago (OK, I confess, I do occasionally go out without my handbag or just completely forget to take a bag so do have a plastic one, but that's only when I need one and I try to keep it to just one) and I did it for the marine life - for those turtles that eat plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish, or for the birds that get tangled in them. I don't understand how people can be ok with the idea of constantly consuming plastics, especially bags, and have absolutely no regard for animals, the natural world or anything. It makes me quite angry and sad!

    I really don't know why the government can't just ban plastic bags completely. The supermarkets would soon start selling their own jute bags and foldable bags to replace them.

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  27. I wonder if you've considered buying your groceries at somewhere where they aren't all prepackaged? Your "yellow sticker" bargains all have unneccessary packaging, mostly plastic/polystyrene stuff. If you are really concerned about the environment you could shop differently.

    I shop at my local grocers shop, fruit and veg is weighed then put (unwrapped) into my basket or cloth bag. If I do want anything wrapped it's put in a brown paper bag. (the bag goes in the recyling later).

    If you do some investigation you could also find a wholefoods shop or coop, ours doesn't have plastic packaging of any kind, everything can be recycled. I shop there for nuts, pulses, etc., all weighed out into brown paper bags.

    Sure, the shopping you do for the yellow stickers might be cheaper but at what cost to the planet. All those prepackaged packets of veg etc.

    My rubbish bin hardly ever needs emptying by the council.

    I buy only what I know I'm going to use so my food is always fresh and there's absolutely no waste. I find it really economical.

    It might take a bit more thinking about but if someone is concerned about our planet and environment it's worth it. Give it a try Ilona. You could cycle to your shops too instead of using a car, better for the environment again.

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    1. Hello Jane. I can't afford to shop in small local shops. My priority is to live within my means, and if that means packaged goods from supermarkets then so be it. I could cycle to the shops but it means going uphill, and only carrying a small amount. I could bus and sometimes I do. But I mostly drive because I pick up shopping on the way back from somewhere else. I combine journeys by going to several places in one trip.

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    2. I wonder if you realise how much more you're paying to buy prepacked stuff? You mention that you buy nuts, at our wholefood shop I buy them loose, not prepackaged, they're almost half the cost of packaged supermarket nuts
      Pulses the same, weighed out, they're more than half the price of packaged ones. I never buy tinned anything, pulses in particular, they're so much more economical, soaked overnight they don't take long at all to cook.

      By buying and cooking in this way I've more than halved my food bill and it was frugal before when I did the equivalent of your yellow stickers.

      A couple of years ago I shopped the same way as you do, I thought that was the most economical, how wrong I was.

      Sometimes we get set in our ways and it's good to try a change.

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    3. I am happy with the way I do things.

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  28. NH is going the way of California and other states in the US by encouraging shoppers to use recycled bags. Recycling is still voluntary in most towns but I most people do separate out their paper, plastic, glass and cans. So far the plastic hasn't been outlawed but it's my understanding that plastic bags will be phased out. I actually like my reusable bags better than the flimsy plastic bags handed out at the store and think most other people do too. There are also some plastic bag products that are made with cornstarch so that they will break down with exposure to ultraviolet light and heat--I know this because I used them to store holiday decorations in my attic and the next year found only shreds of the plastic left.

    Gail

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  29. Ilona Target of our stores here in Queensland started to charge for plastic bags back in 2009 but sadly that stopped last year. I've copied a section of the article.

    TARGET is binning its ban on free plastic bags in response to complaints from customers. For the first time in four years, free plastic bags will return to the discount department store chain from today. The backflip comes as the troubled retailer tries to revive sales and earnings. Customers needing plastic bags for their shopping have had to pay 10c-20c for biodegradable versions at the cash register since May 30, 2009.Target spokesman Jim Cooper admitted the environmentally friendly push had provoked widespread annoyance, particularly among shoppers buying bulky items such as cookware.
    "We've decided to offer free shopping bags in response to extensive customer concern about being charged for bags in our stores," Mr Cooper said. "Customers have clearly told us that they do not believe they should be forced to buy a bag."

    I'm afraid the saying "the customer is always right" sometimes is a load of cr*p:(

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    1. Thank you for that ManLass. It will be interesting to see if we have a similar revolt here. I hope not, and that people get organised and always take bags with them.

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  30. From Margie in Toronto - it's the same here. People winged at first (and raised all the same arguments) but it's surprising how quickly everyone got used to it.

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  31. I love my long handled string bags. They can be slipped into my handbag without taking up too much space and hold loads and loads.

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  32. We've gotten really spoiled with those "free" shopping bags, however, they really aren't free. Stores have to purchase their supplies just like everyone else and they divvy up the cost of those supplies to us, the consumers. Historically, everybody used baskets and boxes to carry their groceries home in their wagons a long distance away from town. They lived farther away and had to make their supplies last until the next trip. As towns grew larger and more people lived closer, it was more convenient for to shop more than once every 3 months or so, down to once a week. Packaging became smaller and bags became a convenient method of advertising.
    In my opinion, those paper "felted" totebags that the stores have been pushing to replace the plastic bags aren't worth the $1.00 they are sold for as they fall apart when wet or when something too heavy is put inside. But at least paper is a renewable resource, unlike the plastic ones (except for the cornstarch plastic which fall apart also).
    The thrift/charity shops around here will take the plastic bags and newspapers we collect. I made a keeper out of some fabric and a child-size pair of overhalls. When it gets full, we make a trip to the shops so they can reuse them for their consumers -- a win-win situation if you ask me! Here's a pic of what I made: http://thefrugalcraftyrushdlady.blogspot.com/2013/02/kitchen-week-two.html
    I also like recycling used pillowcases I pick up cheap at the thrift/charity shops. I've made pint-sized aprons for the children in my Sunday School class out of them and also totebags. http://thefrugalcraftyrushdlady.blogspot.com/2013/02/pillowcase-shopping-bag.html

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    1. Thank you for your interesting and informative comment. Your pillow case shopping bag is a good idea and looks easy to make.

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  33. A gremlin is bothering me, so hope my last comment went to your moderation page. sigh! I wasn't done saying what I wanted to. I like your totebag, very creative! In fact, I've seen some string quilts made like the stripes in your bag. Your name is very much like my mother-in-laws -- Ileen and Ilona!
    Hope your day is wonderful tomorrow! Blessings!

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  34. I've gone one step better, or retro I should say... I've started basketmaking and have made myself a wonderful old-fashioned willow shopping basket. Take it everywhere with me, along with your bag Ilona, they make a great pair!

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    1. That reminds me of a raffia basket that I used to have for taking my cookery ingredients to school. It was like a square box with a lining. You are thinking outside the box, Sue, I like that.

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    2. I love this idea!!!! I think I will go on yootoob to learn how to make baskets. Thank you.

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  35. I use my Granny cart for my planned grocery shopping! But I always have my tote bags packed in my handbag for those un-expected purchases!

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  36. OK Ilona, here's a difficult thing.
    In Australia they made you pay for plastic bags in one area years ago. I had bought a special bin to fit the size of our shopping plastic bags, and I recycled the supermarket bags as trash/bin liner bags. Now, I take my own bags to the shops, but for trash bin bags, I still have to buy a big pack of plastic bin liners from the same supermarket. I still use the same amount of plastic, as i never ever wasted the bags from the supermarket before. And i pay about 15c/7p per bin liner bag. So, I don't get it, I still waste the same amount of plastic. How else do you line a rubbish bin?

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    1. Newspaper perhaps. Depends what you put in your rubbish bin. I don't actually need to line mine because I don't put in anything wet. At the moment I am using charity bags that we get delivered through the door. We get 2 or 3 a week. It's madness really. I use them in my bin because there's not a lot else I can do with them. They don't pick up unused bags, and the charities don't have shops that I can take them back to.

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    2. We never get junk mail bags in the mail. No freebies.

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  37. Here in Wales this has been in effect for quite a while, and I welcomed it when we moved across the border.

    Now I find it strange to have my things put into bags without being asked if I am shopping back in Manchester. I usually speak up quickly and say 'it's okay I have a bag of my own'. I always have a lightweight fold up one in my handbag and lots of others in the boot of the car .... the lovely one you made me has pride of place and is always used for pre-packaged shopping so it stays in pristine condition.

    Please like to have something to moan about, whether it be this or the next news item, it will all blow over soon ... hopefully.

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  38. Anonymous, that was my argument in 2012 when the plastic bags were outlawed here. Also, we're not allowed to flush scooped cat litter or to put it into the green (yard/kitchen scrap) waste container that's picked up every week. No animal waste, so we now reuse other bags for that or have to buy, and I've noticed neighbors have had to buy plastic bags for when they're walking their dogs and picking up the droppings. You're not going to carry it home in your hands! Here, if you don't have your cloth totes with you, you can buy a paper bag at the check out for 10 cents. Last week I took advantage of a sale on chicken legs; 10 pound bags were $5.90. Since I cook for and feed 6 adults (my family plus our elderly neighbors) it's a fantastic deal for meat. Except the bags of chicken were leaking. Before, I could get it home and dealt with in a plastic shopping bag without contaminating everything. Oh, well.

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    1. Yeh, and who wins in the end, the supermarket- what I used to get for free, a free shopping bag, which i recycled as a bin liner, I now have to pay for, and bin liners cost 15c each. So, they make 15c for every bin liner they sell me, and the plastic is still wasted as a bin liner. And i no longer get free bags. And i had to buy a new bigger bin for the bigger bin liners. So, the shops just make more money out of me, for what i used to get for free. And the same plastic is wasted. I'd prefer to spend the 15c per bin liner on food for my kids. I am not rich. From anon of oz re my comment above re bin liners.

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  39. They've been charging for plastic bags for years here in France and it really is no big deal. At first you forget a few times so you end up with a few, so I keep them at work in my car, in my cupboards, small one in my handbag etc. No biggie. I also confess to having a few collapsible crates (they call them cagettes here - sure what the English is). Yes they are made of plastic but I must have been using them for about 20 years and they are excellent. Actually I was at a craft fair couple of weeks ago and saw the most beautiful multi-coloured "beach" bags made out of recycled plastic so I bought one. That is ALWAYS in my car for when I go shopping. And of course, my biggie is my beautiful woven raffia basket that I use at the market where nothing is put in bags - I just tell them to throw it all in as is. Nothing is perfect of course, but I think just making this small change can hardly be called an effort really. Frankly I'm amazed it took England this long, but better late than never eh! Cheers from Anna in France

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