Plastic carrier bags. We're geared towards hating them nowadays, with good reason. You can't recycle them (re-using them isn't quite the same), and they make a mess of landfill sites.
Once upon a time, reusable carrier or shopping bags were only for the old or the excentric. Not so now - they're incredibly fashionable, if only because it gives users an invisible sign over their head that says "Hey look at me, aren't I caring".
Whether you use the ones for sale in supermarkets (usually around a pound), 'designer' ones from department stores and more boutiquey shops (possibly more the realm of the female this - my partner has a green polka-dot one that has even been given its own storage pocket in her handbag).
Richmond Council have started a great scheme, providing free reusable shopping bags, and promoting local shopping via graphics on the side of one of their refuse vehicles.
If you want a FREE shopping bag, register easily on www.richmond.gov.uk/shop_local
Richmond Council have also listed some tips on greener shopping:
1. Remember keep a reusable bag(s) or old carrier bag(s) with you, so you can say ‘no thanks’ the next time you’re offered a plastic bag.
2. Avoid buy one get one free offers on items that are likely to go off before you can use them.
3. Buy recycled, close the loop and buy items like recycled toilet/kitchen roll.
4. Refills can save you money and cut down on the amount of packaging you have to throw away.
5. Plan some meals in advance, write a shopping list.
6. Buy in bulk instead of individually wrapped goods.
7. Consider buying someone an 'experience gift' or ask them what they want.
8. Avoid disposable items like paper plates, razors, batteries, (try rechargeable batteries instead.)
9. Ask yourself can the packaging be recycled somewhere local?
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