Plastic Bag Tax? A Runaway Success!

Certainly, some things are running away, anyway:

A Tesco supermarket has had 500 of its shopping baskets stolen after a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags was introduced last year.

The store in Denbighshire, north-east Wales, has just 16 baskets left following the surge in theft.


Cash-strapped shoppers, who refuse to pay for plastic bags, are flogging the baskets for £25 each on eBay.

That shouldn’t tax our police, then. Or doesn’t the Theft Act cover eBay?

The store has been hit hard since Wales became the first place to introduce a 5p charge for all plastic bags in supermarkets last October.

The tax on plastic bags has seen the number given away by shops fall by up to 96 per cent, according to figures released in July.

The tax’s success is a vindication of the Daily Mail’s Banish the Bags campaign.

I’ve reas that a few times, and I really, really can’t see how they rationalise mass theft as a ‘success’.

A Tesco spokesman admitted that the theft of shopping baskets was a problem and said: ‘We are in the process of implementing measures to help stop baskets being taken from the store in future.’

Maybe you’ll need a £1 coin for them too in future?

15 comments for “Plastic Bag Tax? A Runaway Success!

  1. Derek
    October 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Supermarkets like the bag tax, not for any silly environmental reasons, but because plastic bags cost money, and if they do not have to hand them out for free, they can increase their profit.

    • October 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Really? 😆

      You think they prefer to have all their baskets nicked rather than give away a bag that has their name plastered all over it and probably costs 0.00001p each in volume? 🙄

      • 20 Rothmans
        October 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

        Yes, it costs them the square root of FA. I equate this support for penalising shoppers with the nauseating M&S signs at the checkout declaring their love of dolphons and their hatred of CO2.

        Why don’t the people who want a bag tax just take their cloth bags and leave the rest of us alone?

        I take cloth bags when I have the wherewithal (as in – I am going shopping) and when I am not transporting bloody meat or other things that seep. Prawns don’t like cloth bags.

        “I don’t like what you are doing, even though it does not affect me” seems to be the catchcry of the Righteous. I hope that something happens to them that really does affect them directly, because (a) it probably won’t affect me, (b) it might divert them from their perpetual Something Must Be Done campaigns, and (c) I wish them ill.

        The sooner these people discover blood on the paper or their child is on the game, the better. I don’t want them dead. I want them alive, twisting in agony, until the end up incontinently soiling their beds.

        So why be so vituperative? I’m a middle-aged, middle-class man. I was raised well by the best parents for which I could have wished. Why am I so nasty?

        These bastards seek to limit our freedom – not just ours, but that of our vendors (vide the smoking ban). They are so clinically retarded that they cannot discern the difference between my buying something at Karstadt upstairs (department store) and being given a grand, shiny plastic bag, or downstairs (grocery section) and being charged for the privilege.

        I apologise for this rant. It just really pisses me off that generations of my family fought war, disease and hunger for me to end up railing about a lousy 5p charge. Is this what they fought for?

        • Mike Bloomfield
          October 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm


        • Bunny
          October 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

          What he said.

  2. SteveW
    October 6, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Wow, I previously did some work with basket/trolley manufacturers and the thing that stands out most here is that it would be cheaper for people to buy the baskets from the manufacturer than pony up £25 to some muppet on Ebay. Bless them.

    AS for a runaway success, “…up to 96 percent” reduction would include absolutely no reduction at all. Crap journalism to go with crap campaign.

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    • John
      October 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesco learned from that and started selling the baskets themselves on eBay soon.

      Every little helps, as they say…

  3. October 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

    The “up to 96%” claim is junk statistics, see here.

  4. rnm101
    October 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

    tesco’s once only bags are biodegradeable. They degrade within 18 months of exposure to sunlight.

  5. ivan
    October 6, 2012 at 11:32 am

    You still have single use plastic bags in the UK?

    They phased them out here – France – about 10 years ago with large re-usable ones that were passed out to each household, at least in my village, for free. You wanted more then you paid for them in the supermarket. I still have, and use, the bags I got at the start of the change over although one is rather worn now and I might have to replace it by the end of the year.

    Even our small village shop has stopped using plastic carrier bags but, like all the supermarkets, still uses plastic bags for loose vegetables – we still only see the occasional pre-wrapped vegetables, mostly things like 2kg bags of carrots or a number of oranges in a plastic sack.

    Maybe the problem they are having in the article is because ‘gimme free’ culture that has been taught to a lot of the UK population over the years so they expect things to be free if at all possible.

    • SadButMadLad
      October 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      They aren’t single use bags. We reuse the bags for the bins, cat litter,lunches to work. They have s lot of uses in the home. Instead of very cheap supermarket bags people now use expensive black bin bags which use up more material for all those uses around the home.

      • Martin
        October 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

        The best and strongest bags are from Ocado. I had one particular bag that I used for about 2 years, carrying lunch to work and even took it on holiday and used it as a beach bag. All the writing wore off over time and it only became useless when I snagged it on something and ripped a big hole in it. Most of my other carrier bags also get used for other things too and have found that they can be a good alternative to bubble wrap when moving house, or when travelling to keep clothes clean and fresh or to separate clean from dirty clothes.

  6. Tatty
    October 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    £25 ? Fookinell. My bike basket is detachable and cost £15 which I stuff with the smaller version of tesco’s blue ladybird bags and the larger version stuffed hanging off the left handlebar. I don’t so much ride home as weave and stagger.

    My bagging methods changed when my transport method did…which had everything to do with my waistline and nothing whatsoever to do with the environment…and I always grab a handful of the free bags whenever I can.

    Free dog poo bags are not to be sniffed at 😆

  7. October 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Iceland has the most useful bags.

  8. October 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    B&Q have plastic baskets, much nicer for use in the garden than those wire things from Tesco.

Comments are closed.