- Bag for life
A Bag for life is a type of
bagoffered in most British and Irish supermarkets. In the UK, these are sold for a nominal sum, usually 10 pence, and are replaced for free. In Ireland, they were introduced when the Plastic Bag Environmental Levy was brought in to reduce the massive amount of disposable bags being used annually. Bags costing 70 euro cents or more are exempt from the levy.
The bags are more durable than standard bags, ensuring that they may be reused many times.
The main purpose of this is to ensure that the bags are recycled (which usually earns the retailer a small amount of money per bag), and unlike with free
carrier bags there is a (small) financial incentive to bring the bags back for recycling, lessening the environmental impact.
In contrast to more spartan carrier bags, bags for life tend to be colourful and show some aspect of the supermarket's advertising. Some supermarkets maintain the same design for years at a time, whereas some, like
Waitrose, rotate the designs to tie in with either the season or the most recent advertising campaign.
As of April 2008,
Marks and Spencerare giving their Bags for life free to every customer, as their normal plastic bags will have to be paid for from May 6th. This will be a small sum of 5 pence a carrier. The bags are given to the customer every time they shop so they will have plenty when the switchover in May comes live.
Waitrosewere the first supermarket to use them [http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/YourRubbish/asp/06/Food.aspx] .
These bags are known as green bags in
Australiadue to their relative environmental friendliness and usual (though far from universally) green color.
Apollo Bags were the first company in the United Kingdom to introduce the popular jute shopping bag with a rubber-based biodegrable lining which will return to the earth within our lifetime.
* [http://www.grownupgreen.org.uk grownupgreen] has a number of features and news items on carrier bag use in UK supermarkets.
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