MOST people appear to support the new charges for carrier bags from supermarkets and other large retailers.

This is hardly surprising, as most people have long appreciated the devastating environmental impact of discarded bags.

Indeed, had the decision to charge been made some years ago, it would not have been greeted with hostility. We are only too aware that billions of bags clog our landfills, and that billions more despoil our oceans.

We welcome any measure which reduces the likelihood of future generations cursing us as short-sighted and foolish vandals.

Many of us already make sure we arm ourselves with ample quantities of reusable shopping bags before visiting a supermarket. They are not only better for the environment but also sturdier and easier to pack and unpack.

Only severe PR miscalculations by the store giants could change the positive response to the changes.

Failing to be clear, for example, that every penny of extra revenue raised by the new charges will be spent appropriately would be ill advised.

The same would go for failing to run bagless delivery services efficiently, or failing to give home delivery customers full credit for recycling bags.

Such eventualities aside, this brave new retail world is a cleaner one.