This week, supermarket chain Morrisons are giving away a free Bag for Life to all their customers. The initiative is part of their ‘Today‘ campaign, where Morrisons try to do their bit to make a difference for tomorrow.
Morrisons advise in their 2008 corporate social responsibility report that nationwide, the chain has seen a saving of 110 million carrier bags, a figure which could be cut further if more people reused their old bags or used stronger, bigger bags for life that have a longer lifespan, and can be used for other shopping and transporting of goods too.
It’s not the first time Morrisons have handed out free bags for life to their customers. Sainsbury’s too have had promotions where customers can get free reusable carrier bags to take their shopping home. The advantage with bags for life is that they last longer than standard bags, as they are made of thicker more durable plastic, and the bonus for consumers is that even if you pay for your bag, supermarkets will usually replace them when they get worn out.
But in reality, is giving out free thicker plastic bags really an answer to reducing the amount of carrier bags that get thrown away and shipped off the landfill each year? Sainsbury’s also offer jute bags – more durable again. Co-op sell fairtrade cotton bags, that again, will last longer than plastic. And Morrisons and Tesco have thicker plastic coated bags to tempt the eco-warrior in you to part with a pound. Everything has its cost for the environment; at the end of the day, it’s all just different shades of green. Just because we have our bag for life, it doesn’t make us greener if all it does is sit in the glove box or boot of the car, so that when the shopping goes in the car we think, “Oops… must remember that bag next time”.