I had to go shopping yesterday. I needed a new electric razor (I seem to manage to trash them at the rate of about one a year), and as I was down to my last ready meal, I decided I might as well get some groceries too.
Today, due to this clever foresight, I am not sitting here bearded and starving, but in addition, I am also now the proud owner of some green plastic bags, which cost me the princely sum of 30p:
To answer your second question, these are "bags for life". The idea is that you use them every time you go to the supermarket, so that you don't have to keep using the free disposable ones, and they don't end up in a landfill somewhere. When they wear out, you get free replacements.
Which still leaves the first question. I'm not exactly Mr Enviromentally Friendly, and 30p is 30p. Well, the answer is that it's all Helena's fault. I was complaining at the weekend about how weak the free bags are, and she said that I should buy some of the better ones, that they didn't break, and you could reuse them. She said her mum thinks they're great and is always buying them.
"What's the point of that?", I asked, "she must keep forgetting to take the ones she already has back to the shop, which is exactly what I'd do. No, I'm going to stick with using the free ones."
Whilst I was packing my shopping, Helena went off to another till and bought a couple of "bags for life". She loves having her own money, as it gives her the power to ignore me when I say "no". I put them in the boot, and forgot to take them to the shop with me yesterday. So I bought three more, and the five should be enough for most shopping trips.
I still have my doubts. Even if I remember to reuse them, they will weaken, probably without me being able to tell, until one day one of them will break, knowing my luck with something like a bottle of whisky inside it. I wonder whether the shop will give me replacement shopping to go with the worn out bag?
I'm also worried about all those unemployed bag makers, and what on earth they're going to find to put into the landfill sites. I'm not sure that these green people have really thought this through, and something bad won't happen. Still, in the meantime, I'll make an effort. If I remember...