UK vs Brazil – Plastic Bags Use/ Uso de Sacolas Plásticas

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EN/   Plastic Bags Use

This past week it was announced a change to the way all large shops and supermarkets in UK provide plastic bags. Now it is a general government rule, and not a matter of preference up to the market chains, like it was before. Prior to this new rule, Lidl would only provide a multi-use plastic bag at a cost, similar Spar in other European countries, what charge for single-use plastic bags. While a few already followed this strict attitude towards their customers, other chains like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, etc, would keep both options of providing free single use and a charge for multi-use plastic bags for the most ecologically conscious.

What I would like to point out is something I will do with a series of posts, to compare these rules, behaviours and manners that have different reactions from populations of UK and Brazil. In Brazil, a couple of years ago there was an attempt to introduce some consciousness about ecology by removing single-use plastic bags from customer’s reach. This caused rebellion, people complained that the cost of plastic bags were included in the tax that is payed combined with the cost of the products in store. From London I observed the news, and for me it seemed more a commodity matter, rather than suspicion of being charged twice. There was such a negative feedback from the population that the rule was cancelled and single-use plastic bags are again being provided for free.

This year the rule is trying to get back in practice in Sao Paulo, providing “green bags” at a cost, made of bioplastic the initiative attempts to stimulate people to rethink the way they consume these bags, inspired by (guess what?), “…international standards and can be applied elsewhere in the country.”, stated by Marina Estarque from Carta Capital.

Here are some opinions taken from the article:

“I think it’s bad to have to pay, I will bring a house,” says Josmy.
“When people have easy access, they end up accumulating or playing outside”, said Camila Oliveira, 21.

Well, this is what is called “change” and this takes time to get adapted to people’s everyday life.
Hopefully here in UK and in Sao Paulo, people get their head around it, preparing for a more sustainable future!

Particularly I found this new rule amasing, I am ecologically aware and end up storing all plastic bags at home so I can reuse most of them. Unfortunately I have been a little lazy and could have invested in multi-use/more resistant plastic bags or carrier bags made of other materials to take my shopping home. This laziness to take such attitude has been fed by the commodity of having free bags available at the supermarket, what can be a little more practical as you dont have to think in advance and remember to bring yours from home. I know I will forget at times and complain others, but this rule is a favour really.

Single-use plastic carrier bag charge – video
Published on Jul 24, 2015

A short video for consumers and others explaining the 5p charge for single-use plastic carrier bags. The charge is being introduced in England from 5 October 2015.

For more information see https://www.gov.uk/carrierbags

P.s.: translated by myself.


PT/   Uso de Sacolas Plásticas

Na semana passada, foi anunciada uma alteração na forma como todas as grandes lojas e supermercados no Reino Unido fornecem sacolas plásticas. Agora é uma regra do governo geral, e não uma questão de preferência das cadeias de supermercado, como era antes. Anteriormente à essa nova regra, o mercado Lidl só fornecia um tipo de sacola de plástico multi-uso, por um valor, similarmente o mercado Spar em outros países europeus, cobra pelo uso de sacolas plásticas descartáveis. Enquanto alguns já seguiam essa atitude rigorosa perante aos seus clientes, outras empresas como Tesco, Sainsbury´s, etc, preferiam manter as duas opções fornecendo sacolas plásticas descartáveis de graça e uma taxa por sacolas de plástico de multi-uso para os mais ecologicamente conscientes.
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