Remember to take those reusable shopping bags

The Co-operative has also pledged its carrier bag profits to community causes
The Co-operative has also pledged its carrier bag profits to community causes

Southside shoppers are being encouraged to stock up on reusable bags to avoid a 5p minimum charge as of next week.

The Scottish government introduces its single-use carrier bag charge on Monday (October 20), which will see shoppers paying at least 5p for every carrier bag handed out, whether from the supermarket, high street shops or even local takeaways, in a bid to cut down on litter.

Environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “In Scotland, we use over 800 million new single-use carrier bags every year — more per head than anywhere else in the UK. That is something we want to change.

“This milestone legislation underlines that Scotland is serious about tackling litter, reducing waste and creating a cleaner, greener environment for everyone to enjoy.

“The message is that, if we all remember our bags when we head out to the high street, the supermarket or the corner shop, it’s better for the environment and we’ll save money.”

Extra readers discussed the issue on social media this week, with many planning ahead for Monday’s new rules.

On a positive note, Twitter follower @suicycling commented: “I use them for my bins but maybe this will make me switch to biodegradable bags.”

But for Susie Rodgers, owner of a southside craft business, the move has further implications.

Commenting on Facebook, Susie said: “I’ve been using bags for life for years so, on a personal level, this isn’t going to make a difference to me.

“Business-wise, however, it will. I’ve been using paper bags made from recycled paper and had hoped these would be exempt but unfortunately not, and the legislation has put a size limit on paper bags without handles that can be given away for free.”

Like many businesses being encouraged by Holyrood to donate the profits from bag charges, Susie Rodgers Millinery will be donating to homelessness charity Starter Packs Glasgow.

Zero Waste Scotland is offering a support programme for Scottish retailers — to find out more, visit www.carrierbagchargescotland.org.uk.