Skip to navigationSkip to content
Close

Reusable plastic bags are worse for the environment. The so-called "bags for life" take a lot of plastic to make—and they aren't curbing customers' demand for single-use plastic bags.

Read more on Quartz

Featured contributions

  • It is sadly unsurprising to me that “bags for life” have resulted in a dramatic increase In the plastic footprint of stores. The bags for life approach is a flawed response that fails to take a systems view of the problem. Combined with that, behavioural change is always hard. Change which necessitates

    It is sadly unsurprising to me that “bags for life” have resulted in a dramatic increase In the plastic footprint of stores. The bags for life approach is a flawed response that fails to take a systems view of the problem. Combined with that, behavioural change is always hard. Change which necessitates less convenience for people, in particular.

    There will probably be (we can only hope) far more radical changes than this in store for us over the coming years and decades as we grapple with environmental and climate crises. Better nudges than a 5p charge for a bag will be required; behavioural science will have a significant role to play in that too. But perhaps, given the stark words coming out of the UN this week, the time for nudging is over.

More contributions

  • There is no simple answer because cloth bags need to be washed. The flimsy bags are cheaper than the garbage bags I would have to buy. People who live in houses have to buy approved plastic bags. Then there are the miles of plastic wrapping used to secure grocery pallets. You can't win

  • Follow Australia’s idea and put little cylindrical kiosks (they sort of resemble a bike lock stand except they are hollow with entry and exit holes) where people can stuff extra bags they bring or borrow ones they have forgotten to bring. Everyone forgets sometimes. But if we can help each other by taking

    Follow Australia’s idea and put little cylindrical kiosks (they sort of resemble a bike lock stand except they are hollow with entry and exit holes) where people can stuff extra bags they bring or borrow ones they have forgotten to bring. Everyone forgets sometimes. But if we can help each other by taking and leaving as needed or available, we could put a dent in the single or few use plastic items.

    Also, it’s worth noting that canvas bags are not environmentally friendly to make so you must actually use it for a long time to meet an environmentally friendly threshold.