Today, October 5th many shoppers across England will be faced with a 5p additional charge for carrier bags when shopping. The new charge is intended to encourage more environmentally friendly shopping, but will being greener affect your meticulously planned student shopping budget?
You may have noticed large supermarkets in town such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s giving out free bags for life over the past week, seemingly as a sort of damage control for when D-Day comes and people are able to use their own bags rather than face the charges. These bags for life are likely the most convenient way to avoid the 5p charge. Not only are you helping the environment, you also won’t end up with hundreds of carrier bags stashed under your sink come the end of term.
However, if you don’t feel you can handle the responsibility or commitment that comes with a bag for life, there are other alternatives. The new charges are only enforced in retailers with 250 or more employers. Although exemptions may be made for convenience, environmental campaigners argue that they will not make the changes as successful as they have been in other areas of the UK, where the charges have been in place for years. These exemptions also mean you won’t be charged when having a bag when buying uncooked meat, prescription medicine or certain fresh produce such as flowers to name a few.
For students at Loughborough then, these new charges seem fairly easy to avoid. As long as you remember to take your own bags for your big weekly shop in town, you should still be safe from the charges when popping to the P.O. or union for those mid-week snacks or last minute pre-drinks so long as they’re easy to carry back, otherwise, face the same 5p charge!