I remember the day the 5p carrier bag charge was introduced into England.
I was in a supermarket queue when a guy jokingly said: “This won’t affect me. I’ll just bring my pelican with me and get him to carry my shopping in his mouth.”
And, just as he was smugly congratulating himself on his dazzling wit, a lady said: “Yes but he’d probably eat all your fish before you got home” and stole the comedic bragging rites from under his nose.
Now the government are set to increase the carrier bag charge to 10p because they’ve listened to David Attenborough who said there are too many plastic bags in the sea.
So, it turns out that it is not just people who are responsible for this eco-problem but that fish also have to be educated. We know fish can be educated because they’re often found in schools.
Apparently, due to chronic lack of plankton and other food stuffs in the sea and consequently fearing their own extinction, fish have been sneaking undercover into Sainsbury’s overnight to stock up on bags for life.
You’d think the intelligent dolphins would have told them of their “bag for life” misconception.
How else can you explain so many carrier bags in the sea? No one takes their shopping to the sea. People are not standing by the water’s edge, skimming carrier bags in the same way they skim stones, nor launching them into the sea like a bottled message for a stranger or for their dog to chase and retrieve.
I watch American films in bewilderment as people clumsily carry heavy shopping under their arms and struggle up steps and indoors, unable to see over their large handle-less flimsy paper bags. But at least they’re eco-friendly.
Personally, I use a backpack for shopping which makes me look like a very mature foreign exchange student.
And I wonder why anyone would pay 5p for plastic carrier bag when they can buy and take home a whole big supermarket trolley for a pound?