According to Friends of the Earth, every household has around 80 plastic bags – including Bags For Life – in their possession.
By ‘in their possession’, I assume they mean ‘stuffed in a drawer’ or ‘rapidly filling the car boot’ rather than suggesting that people carry 80 plastic bags on their person at all times.
That would be ridiculous. I can only fit about 22 in my coat without looking like a terrorist.
Asking for a single-use plastic bag at a shop counter is now only marginally more socially acceptable than lighting up a fag in a pre-school and asking an asthmatic toddler to hold the packet while you open another can of lager.
If you do forget to scale the Bag For Life mountain before you go shopping, you are duty bound to buy yet another BFL lest you are singled out as the kind of person that chokes birds on the seashore or fly-tips in beauty spots for larks.
Generally, the reason I forget to bring my shopping bags into shops is because I ‘only pop in for a loaf of bread’, only to be utterly hoodwinked by absolutely any offer being advertised in-store. One loaf of bread swiftly becomes a basket full of Buy One Get One Free offers that truly could feed the 5,000 and definitely couldn’t be carried to the car without a bag.
The new bag joins its plastic siblings until the mountain grows so high that even I can’t ignore it any longer. At that point, I take a bag full of bags to a charity shop so they can offer them to customers.
Yes: I use my own profligate bag buying to make me look good. I truly am the scum of the Earth.
The answer, of course, is to carry those jute bags, aka Bags That Smell For Life. I have about 50 of them, too, and the charity shop won’t take them on the grounds that since Mary Portas (ruthless reality TV show retail doyenne), they’ve moved away from selling unpleasant things that whiff and started charging £3.50 for Peter Andre’s autobiography even though you can get it on eBay for 99p.
But that’s another story, and one that makes me look miserly as opposed to selfish, so we’ll save it for another day.
NB: Britons believe that all Americans carry their shopping home in brown paper bags. Is this true? I’d like to see you try that trick with my weekly shopping.