Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Lindy McDowell: Recycling - bags more where those came from

A lot of the recycling rules and regulations are plain daft or even counter-productive. But plans to officially clamp down on the use of plastic bags, perhaps by officially introducing a charge, can only be a good thing.

I try to do the right thing by using big re-useable carriers, but worry about hygiene. If a raw chicken drips into one, can you be sure to effectively clean it?

Also, on the subject of paid-for bags, it’s baffling that some bags are considered bad, some apparently innocuous. How else to explain why one shop which charges for the regular sized bags, hands out other smaller bags willy-nilly?

Recently, I bought two standard bags to carry my shopping. The assistant then proceeded to wrap (with no rhyme nor reason) some items in smaller bags before placing these inside the big ones. I ended up with six small (free) plastic bags inside the two paid-for bigger ones.

One small bag was used for two yoghurts, presumably to stop them dripping. But another two yoghurts weren’t given a wee bag?

There was a small bag for an already bagged salad, one for a bottle of wine, none for a ready meal with potential to drip but one for vacuum-packed cheese.

The lad in the queue behind me was buying a bunch of flowers already wrapped in plastic. He was offered a further plastic flower bag to put them in. He declined.

Like the small plastic bags but unlike the standard plastic bag, the plastic flower bag is free.

Why?

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