Why Do We Have All These Bags for Life Anyway?

February 22, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Last night I cleaned out my cupboard under the stairs. It had over 18 “Bag for Life” bags in it. Purchased out of guilt in a variety of materials in jute, plastics and cotton from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Tesco and Asda (not sure if Lidl or Iceland do one yet), poly bags from Ikea, heavy duty cotton bag from Robert Dyas, low-grade cotton bags that get dirty very easily from gift-shops and coffee houses printed with logos saying things like “At Book Club I only read wine labels” or “Love Me, Love My Shopping”. I have a fabulous gold bubble wrap bag not so environmentally friendly carrier bag from Miu Miu which is too good to use so it stays in the cupboard with the paints and I remind myself to take it out (but it seems appropriate to carry it on the school run or to Tesco).

When I do the weekly shop I remember to take a few of these bags (representing each supermarket to remain impartial) finding that the preferred are those with both short and long handles so I can attach them easily to my child’s pram and on my shoulder, although a couple of weeks ago I was challenged by a security guard as I loaded products into my environmentally friendly carrier bag as I dashed through the aisles and was accused of shop-lifting but you try pushing a pram with a small baby in it whilst pushing a trolley or carrying a basket at the same time. When our daughter was first born, working out how to shop with baby, pram and bags was a conundrum. I cried once after leaving the supermarket with the pram so overloaded with bags that the wheels wouldn’t turn and it tipped back leaving my daughter with her legs in the air and a bottle of Shiraz rolling backwards into a flowerbed. I have improved my shopping technique since then.

My other quandary is if I carry all my shopping in these environmentally friendly bags what do I put my rubbish in? A waitrose polybag is perfect for my Ikea rationel bin and so I justify myself in that I am fully closing the recycling loop. Their bags claim to be biodegradable so surely this is a Good Thing? I don’t want to buy plastic bags specifically for my bin when I can get them free from my local supermarket. I did ask the cashier at the supermarket about this but her answer was to shrug her shoulder and smile.

I use my luxury carrier bags (less seem to come my way nowadays); the ones with twisted or rope handles for my recycling. I have been told by someone in the know to avoid using the ones with metal rivets or foil printing as they can’t be recycled as easily. Though the world is a gloomier place and we will apparently remain in financial limbo till 2032 I think a small tipple should be poured in the direction of the environmentalists and those that join in to support them. Recycling wise, compared to 20 years ago, I think we are in a much better place. My council has a fantastic recycling collection service, the supermarkets are making biodegradable plastic bags that I can use for rubbish and when I remember, I keep a couple of bags for life that can take the weight of a small country for hanging off my pram handles which and allows my newborn see what the sky looks like. We’ve started a more considerate environmental journey in our daily lives. Lets hear 3 cheers to that!

Wrapology manufacture printed carrier bags for many brands. They specialise in producing environmentally friendly carrier bags with a luxury twist.

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