If you purchase your goods the 'old fashioned' way, from a cashier at a till, they'll be able to control the number of bags that they give you, and add the appropriate amount to your shopping. So that should make the single-use plastic carrier bag charge, which comes into effect on 5 October, easy to implement. But there are other ways we shop now, and I'm wondering whether supermarkets in England are prepared for the change, and what those changes that will mean for the customer.
Self check-outs - with or without single-use bags?
When's the last time you've 'self checked-out' at your local Tesco or so? Did you notice that the single-use carrier bags are free for you to take and sort your shopping into? I really wonder what supermarkets are going to do in order to charge the compulsory levy of 5p, that will come into effect on 5 October this year. Last time I looked, there was nothing in-store to inform customers of any changes.
So what will happen?
Gov.uk says retailers 'must make every effort to charge for self check-out bags'. I think that's a bit 'wishy-washy'. What's 'every effort' supposed to mean, either they do have to charge or they don't (and they do!).
Online shopping - bagless delivery or compulsory charge?
What will supermarkets do about your online shop? There's a hilarious thread about a FOI request to the National Assembly of Wales about a compulsory levy, that Sainsbury's charged customers.
I've had an email pop into my inbox, where Sainsbury's explains that they now offer bagless delivery. However, they don't explain quite how they deliver your goods if you opt for that (in returnable crates for example? Or will you have to unpack there and then? What if you're not there when the delivery arrives?).
Here's what Sainsbury's said in their email:
We wanted to let you know that we've introduced our new bagless delivery service - so if you'd prefer, you can now choose to have your online shopping delivered to your home without plastic carrier bags. There is no additional charge for having your groceries delivered without carrier bags.