As someone with green aspirations (come on, I did write Ecologic), I'm all in favour of supermarket 'bag for life' offerings, which mean you reuse your bags rather than throw them away. However, I think it is boring, and quite possibly in bad taste, to use a bag in the shop from which it was obtained.
Instead, to keep the shopping experience amusing, the good middle class shopper should play a game of Bag-for-life Top Trumps®. The idea is simple. Always use a bag with snob value at the supermarket in which you are shopping. So:
- In Aldi/Lidl use at least an Asda bag**
- In Asda use at least a Tesco bag
- In Tesco use at least a Sainsbury's bag
- In Sainsbury's use at least a Marks and Spencer bag
- In Marks and Spencer use at least a Waitrose bag
- In Waitrose use at least a Booths bag
In my previous list, Waitrose was top of the food chain (geddit?), but I have since discovered the North West-only chain Booths, which makes Waitrose look common.
* I'm always a bit wary of the term 'single use'. There's no doubt that this kind of usage tax does significantly reduce the number of 'single use' bags issued by supermarkets, which sounds very green. However, there was some evidence from Ireland, when this approach was introduced there, that the consumption of the plastic film going into plastic bags went up, not down. This is because many people actually re-use 'single use' bags for other purposes, e.g. bin bags, food bags etc. As they then had to buy 'real' bin bags etc., which typically use significantly more plastic than the equivalent 'single use' bag, the impact seemed to be to actually increase the plastic (by weight) going into waste.
** Having said that, there's a bit of inverse snobbery that means that bags from really cheap places have a slight cachet that lets them play up a level or two. But they still don't work at Marks and Spencers and above.