Plastic carrier bags: why we should care about the future

Sainsbury's carrier bags. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Sainsbury's carrier bags. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

I am surprised Mr Edwin Gretton, he of West Bradford Bridge fame, should condone the use of free plastic bags in England.

Of course, if we get them free we will discard them more indiscriminately. Why should England have a lower moral regard for the future of our finite planet than Scotland, Wales and Ireland?

Perhaps our government being in the hands of big business has something to do with it?

Here are some facts:

The world uses 500 billion, that is 500,000,000,000, plastic bags every year.

When Ireland imposed a small tax on the use of plastic bags their use fell by 90%.

Plastic bags take 300 years to degrade and, when they do, they break down into toxic particles that contaminate soil and waterways and enter our food chain.

Our basic rights are no more restricted by having to pay for a plastic bag than having to pay for anything else.

Surely it is not too difficult for Mr Gretton, or any of us, to take our own bags to the shops and enjoy a sense of moral superiority by having reduced world pollution.

Michael Brasier-Creagh,

Holkers Fold, Read